One of Netflix’s first significant new TV releases of 2023 was Lockwood & Co, a new supernatural teen series hailing from the United Kingdom. The show sets up a second season but won’t be getting one as it was officially announced to be canceled in May 2023. Here’s a look into why.
Developed by Joe Cornish, the new British series (compared to a “teen Ghostbusters“) is an 8-episode series that follows the first two books in the Jonathan Stroud novel series.
Reviews for the show from critics since its release has been strong. The series holds 92% on RottenTomatoes, 94% from audiences on RT, and 7.4 on IMDb.
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Official Renewal Status at Netflix: Canceled
Months later, things weren’t looking good for Lockwood & Co, with the show having mixed performance on some of the metrics that the public has access to. Any hopes of renewal came crashing down on May 2023 when Complete Fiction Pictures (the production company behind the show) released a statement:
“With heavy hearts, we announce that Lockwood & Co. will not be
returning for a second series.
Making this show was one of the most rewarding experiences of our careers and we will forever treasure it. Being trusted by the supremely talented Jonathan Stroud to adapt his outstanding series of books was an honour and a privilege. Working with him as closely as we did across the development, production and release of Lockwood & Co has made him a friend, and part of the Complete Fiction family, for life.
We are particularly proud of the gifted young actors who brought Jonathan’s beloved fictional characters to the screen with such warmth, charm and vulnerability. Ruby, Cameron and Ali were Our perfect Lucy, Lockwood and George. We couldn’t have asked for a more dedicated or talented trio. All three are superstars and we can’t wait to see them shine in the dazzling bright future that undoubtedly awaits them.
We want to thank our breathtakingly talented cast and crew for the dedication and top-level craft they brought to this production. The love and the care they took is in every frame. We also want to thank our brilliant team at Netflix UK, who shared and supported our passion and vision for the show from start to finish. We are all very proud of it.
To the fans – to Lock Nation you really have been the greatest. We cannot thank you enough for how much you have embraced, celebrated and loved the show. You are the kindest, most creative group of people online and it has been so gratifying to see how your passion for these characters and this world has brought you all together. This might be the end of the line for the TV show, but the books live on, as do the friendships made. We encourage you to embrace both.
So many people have watched and enjoyed the show globally, and that, at the end of the day, is why we do what we do. So keep watching great TV. Keep going to the movies. Keep taking chances on new things. Stay “just reckless enough”.
Some news. #LockwoodandCo pic.twitter.com/tv6e5mdk79
— Complete Fiction Pictures (@FictionComplete) May 12, 2023
As we’ve discussed before, things like completion rate, number of starters, and cost all play a significant role in renewals.
In the case of Lockwood & Co, we predicted a month or so after its initial release that the series was likely leaning towards cancelation given its performance compared to other titles in the genre and a massive fall in viewership from weeks 2 to 3. Still, according to one source, its completion rate looked good (more on this in a second), but it wasn’t enough to save it.
We should note that, particularly over the past year, Netflix has struggled to renew genre shows that skew younger. Last year, we saw the cancelation of the likes of First Kill, Resident Evil, The Imperfects, The Midnight Club, and The Bastard Son & The Devil Himself all failed to get beyond season 1, while Warrior Nun couldn’t get a third season.
Ahead of cancelation, Joe Cornish addressed season 2 chances in an interview with Tamera Jones from Collider. When asked about season 2 chances and social engagement being a contributing factor towards renewal, Cornish said:
“… I’m not going to get caught up in the whole, “Is there/isn’t there going to be a Season 2?” We drive ourselves crazy. We just have to be super proud of what we’ve done. We really appreciate the fact, particularly, that fans of the book are recognizing the world that was in their imagination up on the screen. I just want to be proud and happy for the actors, for all the incredible technicians, everybody who worked on the show that made it good, and that so many people dig it.”
Multiple sources show how well Lockwood & Co. has performed on Netflix.
Showrunner Joe Cornish said they had a meeting with Netflix in mid-February where they were told they “did very well for the first couple of weeks,” but said he wouldn’t attend any subsequent meetings.
Netflix Hourly Data for Lockwood & Co.
Let’s first begin with hourly data from Netflix itself. Every Tuesday, in four categories, Netflix publishes 40 hourly figures on its top-performing titles.
Lockwood & Co picked up 79.91 million hours in the top global 10s over the course of three weeks (January 22nd to February 12th) and fell out in week 4.
Here’s how that breaks down week to week:
|Week Period||Hours Viewed(M)||Rank||Week in Top 10|
|January 22nd, 2023 to January 29th, 2023||25,120,000||6||1|
|January 29th, 2023 to February 5th, 2023||39,420,000 (+57%)||1||2|
|February 5th, 2023 to February 12th, 2023||15,370,000 (-61%)||7||3|
As mentioned, the show dropped out of the top 10s in week 4, meaning it failed to get over 15.12 million hours that week.
Let’s compare its opening week to several other shows in the same genre that premiered in 2022 (and notably didn’t go on score season 2 orders).
As you can see, the show followed similar trajectories to The Imperfects and First Kill (both canceled) but fell below Archive 81 (also canceled).
That’s the raw top 10 hourly figures, but let’s try and put it on a level playing field against similar shows in the same genre as Lockwood.
Using CVE (taking the hours viewed and then dividing by the total length of the show), we can see the show had a stronger start than two other British series, such as Heartstopper (which was renewed for two seasons) and Half-Bad.
However, according to our top 10 report, Lockwood was still on the lower end for debuts of English series, generally saying, “With only 4.4M CVEs over its first three days, that’s really on the low end for a new English-speaking series.”
Nielsen Data for Lockwood & Co.
Nielsen’s top 10 data also gives an insight into how well the series performs, specifically in the United States.
We’ve got three weeks of data from Nielsen thus far, with the show also seeing a massive 56% drop between weeks 2 and 3. Netflix US viewership looks to have made up about 20% of the show’s total.
Here’s how the Nielsen data breaks down week to week, but thus far, between January 23rd and February 12th, the show has picked up 22.43 million hours:
|Week Start||Week End||Nielsen Rank||Episodes||Raw Minutes||Converted Hours|
|January 23rd, 2023||January 29th, 2023||6||8||450 million minutes||7.500 million hours|
|January 30th, 2023||February 5th, 2023||3||8||623 million minutes||10.383 million hours|
|February 6th, 2023||February 12th, 2023||7||8||273 million minutes||4.550 million hours|
Raw Top 10 Data via FlixPatrol
Looking at raw top 10s via FlixPatrol, the show peaked in the number of points it picked up in the series top 10s within the first three to four days but has held on, only being forced out by newer titles.
The show did enter the top 10s in most regions globally, performing the best in countries like the United Kingdom, Germany, India, and France.
After two weeks on the platform, the show disappeared from the top 10s but resurfaced for a few days before leaving entirely shy of a month after the show landed.
Here’s how its performance in the Netflix top 10s looks:
External Demand for Lockwood & Co.
How well is the show performing on the web at large? Often referred to as “demand,” we’ll use TelevisionStats.com to track how well the show performs on sites like Wikipedia, Google, Reddit, and IMDb.
Their data shows the series peaked in external demand on February 13th.
One thing we should note is how well the show is performing on TikTok. Looking at various hashtags, the show has scored tens of millions of views. The main Lockwood & Co hashtag, as of February 21st, has picked up 73 million views, with plenty of other tags picking up similar numbers.
Completion Rate for Lockwood & Co
Last but certainly not least, we’ll cover the completion rates courtesy of Digital i with data including all regions from their SoDA platform.
Their data suggests that around 54% of people who started the series went on to finish it. They’ve previously noted that shows that get under 50% completion typically have a harder time getting renewed.
While this number is strong for Lockwood & Co, the fact the show struggled to get most to even click on the first episode could still spell trouble for the future.
What we would’ve expected from Lockwood & Co season 2 on Netflix
Since the series seems to adapt the books in order, logic dictates that we’d see one, two, or even three book entries adapted for season 2.
For those unfamiliar, that’d mean that we’d likely see The Hollow Boy and/or The Creeping Shadow adapted, leaving The Empty Grave for a future season.
Assuming season 2 heads straight into the third book, here’s a brief run-down of the plot of The Hollow Boy courtesy of GoodReads:
“As a massive outbreak of supernatural Visitors baffles Scotland Yard and causes protests throughout London, Lockwood & Co. continue to demonstrate their effectiveness in exterminating spirits. Anthony Lockwood is dashing, George insightful, and Lucy dynamic, while the skull in the jar utters sardonic advice from the sidelines. There is a new spirit of openness in the team now that Lockwood has shared some of his childhood secrets, and Lucy is feeling more and more as if her true home is at Portland Row. It comes as a great shock, then, when Lockwood and George introduce her to an annoyingly perky and hyper-efficient new assistant, Holly Munro.”
As DigitalSpy points out, some of the overarching questions going into a second season would be how exactly Lockwood’s parents died, as it’s slowly revealed throughout the course of the season that there’s more to that story than meets the eye.
That leads us to the cliffhanger ending with the door to the room that’s been otherwise locked throughout the season swinging open only for the credits to start rolling.
When asked about what’s behind the door, Ruby Stokes told Variety:
“I haven’t heard of any theories, but I have seen people, even some who have read the books, say they want to leave it up to interpretation. I haven’t read the theories either because even as I was reading the books, like going from Book One to Two, I enjoyed that moment of not knowing what’s next.”
One Redditor has already predicted what might be in the locked room, suggesting it could be “The ghosts of his parents” or “More relics having to do with his family.”
Teasing season 2 in the aforementioned Collider article, Joe Cornish told them about the future books (and, therefore the series):
“The character relationships get more complex, the world-building expands, [there are] twists and turns, and it gets epic, and amazing set pieces. So, we would love to get the chance to put all that stuff on screen, but at the same time, we are very proud of the first season. If you want to find out what’s beyond that door and you can’t wait for more, then it’s in the books.”
Would you like to see Lockwood & Co return for a second season at Netflix? Let us know in the comments down below.