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The Bastard Son & the Devil Himself Becomes Another Netflix Casualty

Netflix kills another of its original shows after just one season.

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Jay Lycurgo, Nadia Parkes, and Emilien Vekemans in The Bastard Son and the Devil Himself.
Image: Netflix

TV shows getting canceled are never fun, particularly when they’re at Netflix. The streamer puts out so much content that it’s hard to know what their metrics are for success—at least, until they vaguely allude to these supposed success stories—and it turns, it’s all the easier for shows to get the axe out of nowhere.

Everyone has their own examples of a Netflix show that’s abruptly got canned, and now the newest show to fall is The Bastard Son & the Devil Himself, which released back towards the end of October. News first broke on Friday via its UK producer Imaginarium, followed by statements from creator Joe Barton and actor Jay Lycurgo, who plays Nathan on the show. Both Barton and Imaginarium wrote they were proud of the series’ short life, with Barton adding that he was “sorry not to be able to finish the story.” Lycurgo expressed similar thoughts, saying “there was so much more to tell.”


Based on the Half Bad series of YA novels by Sally Green, the series followed Nathan Byrne, a teen who learned he was a bastard son of an infamous Blood Witch. After learning he’d been monitored his whole life by a rival faction of witches called the Fairborns, Nathan went on the run to learn more about himself, and eventually crossed paths with fellow witches Annalise (Nadia Parkes) and Gabriel (Emilien Vekemans). When the series dropped, it received solid reviews from critics and audiences; io9's own Linda Codega called it “one of the best Netflix shows you never heard of.”

Bastard’s cancellation marks the second relatively big series to get its plug pulled from Netflix. Last week, it canceled Mike Flanagan’s The Midnight Club, which was also in its first season. Shortly thereafter, Flanagan both spoke on what would’ve been in a second season, and also jumped ship over to Amazon, where he’s preparing to work on an adaptation of Stephen King’s The Dark Tower. This is the nature of the business, sure, but Netflix’s strategy of dumping things on its platform with minimal attention and a single trailer continues to do those series and the people working on them zero favors.


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