The Canadian String Anne with an E has been canceled, prompting fans to rally for a renewal. According to Lucy Maud Montgomery’s 1908 novel Anne of Green Gables, the CBC-Netflix adaptation was designed for television by former Breaking Bad writer-producer Moira Walley-Beckett. Here’s why Anne with an E was canceled after three seasons.
Anne with an E stars Amybeth McNulty as Anne of Green Gables, a chatty and endearing orphan who’s embraced by elderly allies Marilla and Matthew Cuthbert. Over three seasons, Anne Shirley-Cuthbert grows fond of her home at Green Gables and creates strong friendships while chasing her creative pursuits. Anne with an E season 3 initially aired from September to November 2019, and released in full on Netflix in January 2020. The next episode follows Anne’s travel to school, together with her pursuit of love curiosity Gilbert Blythe. Besides the focal story, Anne with an E explores themes of gender, race, familial legacies, and individuality. Anne with an E season 1 and 2 earned Canadian Screen Awards for Best Drama Series.
The CBC and Netflix declared Anne with an E’s cancellation in November 2019, one day following the season 3 finale aired. Given the show’s acclaim and loyal fanbase, the hashtag #renewannewithanE started trending on Twitter. However, not everyone knew why Anne with an E had been officially sanctioned, or if there would be a continuation elsewhere. The series’ destiny was foreshadowed in early October 2019 when CBC President Catherine Tait expressed her displeasure with Netflix (via Financial Post) and suggested that Canadian interests were the top priority.
“A few countries have done deals, as we did, together with Netflix. and over time we begin to see that we’re feeding the growth of Netflix, or we are feeding the development of Amazon, rather than feeding our own national business and industry.”
Following the creation of change.org petitions and social media campaigns, the primary reason for Anne with an E’s cancellation was shown by CBC’s general manager of programming, Sally Catto, in 2019. Though the show was popular amongst younger audiences, the Netflix viewership numbers didn’t signify a solid fanbase amongst elderly CBC and Netflix viewers in the 25 to 54 age range. Catto noted that “They [viewership numbers] unfortunately didn’t lift enough… They simply were not attaining our particular goal” (via CBC).
Netflix has provided a link to Anne with E lovers who wish to make a renewal pitch; however, some believe that Twitter bots were responsible for much of the first cancellation backlash (via CBC). Whatever the circumstance, Anne with an E’s creator, Walley-Beckett, has shown that she is interested in making a feature film. After all, the Anne with an E season 3 finale marks a new chapter from the title character’s life and teases a brand-new story about life outside Green Gables. But as far as die-hard fans love the series, financials are ultimately the bottom line for manufacturers. Still, it seems probable that among many high-profile streaming services will deliver Anne with an E back to life.