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Why Was Godless Cancelled? The Truth Behind The Show’s End

Why Was Godless Cancelled? The Truth Behind The Show’s End

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Netflix is no stranger to taking chances on limited series, but the streaming giant had to start somewhere. That starting point was 2017’s Godless, Netflix’s first in-house limited series ever.

The show received generally positive reviews and even several Emmy nominations (and wins). But after its initial handful of episodes, Netflix never continued the series.

Considering it was a successful series, why did Netflix cancel Godless? Read our guide below to find out the real reason why it ended and if we’re ever going to see more of it in the future.

Why Was Godless Cancelled?

Netflix didn’t cancel Godless, but instead created it to be a limited series. It was a seven-episode miniseries they never intended to continue.

Unlike regular television series, miniseries or limited series are “one and done” events. In short, they have a very specific story to tell, and the creators specifically plan for several episodes.

Limited series tend to have higher production values and bigger stars. This lets them pack as much punch as possible into their shorter timeframes.

Thomas Brodie-Sangster as Whitey Winn in Godless

As star Thomas Brodie-Sangster put it, “[Godless has] got a really nice beginning, middle and end.”

When discussing the possibility of more episodes, Brodie-Sangster told The Hollywood Reporter, “For me, unless they do something amazing with the writing and as long as it’s appropriate, I think it’s nice to actually have a Netflix show that comes out like this, where you have the beginning, middle and end.”

Just after the series ended, The Hollywood Reporter spoke to the cast and crew about continuing the series.

Sam Waterson, who played Marshal John Cook, compared the series to “a novel,” something that told a self-contained story. Agreeing with Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Waterson said, “I don’t think they’ll make a Godless 2.”

But a limited series doesn’t always remain “limited.” Famously, Netflix planned another show,13 Reasons Why, as a limited series, but wound up giving it four seasons.

However, the director, writer, and executive producer Scott Frank said he hadn’t thought of any storylines to come after the initial seven episodes. “You never know,” he said in regard to a new season, “but right now I don’t know what it would be.”

TV Shows and Movies to Watch After Godless

If you were captivated by Godless, then you’re in for a treat with other TV shows and movies that echo similar themes.

Here’s a list of TV shows and movies that share the spirit and style of Godless:

  1. Yellowstone (2018-present) – A contemporary western drama about the conflicts surrounding a large cattle ranch.
  2. Hell on Wheels (2011-2016) – This series delves into the construction of the First Transcontinental Railroad after the Civil War.
  3. Deadwood (2004-2006) – A historical drama capturing the lawlessness of Deadwood, South Dakota, in the 1870s.
  4. Hickok (2017) – A movie focusing on the legendary lawman Wild Bill Hickok.
  5. The Son (2017-2019) – This epic spans generations, depicting the rise of a Texas oil empire.
  6. Wynonna Earp (2016-present) – A supernatural western series centered on Wyatt Earp’s demon-hunting great-great-granddaughter.
  7. 1883 (2021-present) – A prequel to Yellowstone, this series follows the Dutton family in the late 19th century as they migrated through the American wilderness.
Promotional image for the Yellowstone TV series featuring the character John Dutton who is played by actor Kevin Costner

Among these, Yellowstone, created by Taylor Sheridan, is particularly noteworthy for its contemporary spin on the western genre. It brilliantly intertwines family dynamics, politics, and the realities of modern ranching, while also addressing critical issues such as land ownership and Native American rights.

Hell on Wheels offers a more traditional western experience, immersing viewers in the raw and often brutal world of the post-Civil War era. The series focuses on the complexities of building the First Transcontinental Railroad and the tumultuous life of its central character, Cullen Bohannon.

For those who prefer films, Hickok presents a captivating portrayal of the iconic figure Wild Bill Hickok. It’s a thrilling exploration of his life as a lawman and gunfighter, offering a blend of historical authenticity and dramatic storytelling.