Three Pines has been cancelled by Amazon Studios after a single season.
As first reported by Variety (opens in new tab), the Alfred Molina-starring detective thriller is the latest Prime Video series to get the chop. No reason has been given for the show’s cancellation, but Amazon Studios told Variety (via email) that it was “proud of the work done on the series and the opportunity to work with great partners”.
Unsurprisingly, Three Pines‘ cast and crew have been left shocked by its unexpected and abrupt ending. Taking to Instagram, Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers – who played Isabelle Lacoste in the TV show – said it was “difficult to process” its cancellation before thanking viewers who tuned in to watch the series’ one and only season.
Showrunner Emilia di Girolamo, who also posted a thank you message on Instagram following the announcement, explained that Amazon, Sony Pictures, and Left Bank Pictures tried to negotiate a deal to bring Three Pines back for a second season. Unfortunately, a mutually beneficial agreement wasn’t reached, hence its cancellation.
It’s unclear if Three Pines will find a new streaming home. With Netflix and Disney Plus focused on their own in-house projects, and HBO Max‘s parent company Warner Bros Discovery (WBD) cutting back on its streaming output, it’s unlikely Three Pines will land on one of the other best streaming services.
Based on Louise Penny’s novel of the same name, Three Pines starred Molina (Spider-Man: No Way Home) as Chief Inspector Armand Gauche, who investigates a series of seemingly interconnected murders in the titular town near Quebec, Canada. The show ran for eight episodes, with four blocks of two episodes released weekly between December 2, 2022 and December 23, 2022.
Three Pines was praised for its authentic representation of indigenous characters, cultures, and issues. Molina’s multidimensional portrayal of Gauche, too, was positively received by critics. Despite its many positives, though, Three Pines has become the latest in a growing list of shows cancelled by Prime Video, which includes Paper Girls, The Wilds, and I Know What You Did Last Summer‘s TV reboot.
Analysis: taking root at the wrong time
There are many reasons why a studio might decide to cancel a show. Maybe a series didn’t perform well enough, from a viewership perspective, to justify renewing it. Maybe a TV program cost too much to make, meaning there aren’t funds to bring it back for another season – and a potentially more expensive one at that.
Based on di Girolamo’s Instagram post, Three Pines season 2 wasn’t greenlit because its three major production companies couldn’t come to an agreement over its development. That’s as good a reason as any to explain why it won’t be back for a second installment.
It’s also possible, though, that Three Pines was released at the wrong time. The series initially debuted on Prime Video in early December, which pitted it against a number of big hitters on rival streamers. On Netflix, The Witcher: Blood Origin and Emily in Paris season 3 also arrived in December, while smash-hit series Wednesday continued to dominate the streaming charts. Over on HBO Max, His Dark Materials season 3 took its fair share of the global audience share, while Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan season 3, which also debuted on Prime Video in December, will also have eaten into Three Pines’ viewing figures.
The arrival of the 2022 Christmas holiday season might have given Three Pines a timely viewership boost. But, with the above shows – not to mention the debut of eagerly anticipated films, such as Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery, around the Christmas period – competing for viewers’ attentions, Three Pines seems to have been outfought by its rivals. The holidays represented the perfect time to catch up on some of the best TV shows of 2022, too, for those viewers who missed top-tier series earlier in the year.
We can’t know for sure if that was the case. Amazon rarely releases official viewing figures for its original movies and TV shows, only doing so when an in-house project performs extremely well (see The Rings of Power season 1’s debut (opens in new tab) as proof of that). Reading between the lines, however, it appears there’s more to Three Pines‘ cancellation than meets the eye. Simply put, it took root on Prime Video at the wrong time.
For more Prime Video coverage, read our guides on the best Prime Video shows, new Prime Video movies, and best Prime Video movies.