Okay, so here's what we all need to know about comics creator, EP & co-writer Neil Gaiman (Good Omens); EP, co-writer & showrunner Allan Heinberg (Wonder Woman); and EP & co-writer David S. Goyer's live-action adaptation of The Sandman. Three days after its August 5th release, the streaming series had already raked in 69.5 million viewed hours. And for the next 30 days, it would go on to the top of and then remain on Top 10 lists all around the globe, in over 80 countries & territories. And in Netflix's own published stats for the week ending on September 11th, the series has been viewed for a total of over 381 million hours (and as you can see from the graphic below, The Sandman still remains strong 30+ days out). Add to that a current Rotten Tomatoes score of (as of this writing) 87% with critics and 80% with viewers ("Certified Fresh") and a social media following for it that remains as strong as ever, and you can understand why everyone keeps asking the same question. So why hasn't Netflix announced a second season for The Sandman yet?
Unless Netflix's co-CEOs Ted Sarandos & Reed Hastings are just paying lip service to subscribers and Wall Street about wanting globally popular franchises that they can grow into "tentpoles" and are going to stick to the old ways of doing things, there is no way (even in the midst of the "Old Wild West" that streaming finds itself to be) that The Sandman isn't coming back for another run. And from what Gaiman has said previously, it's not like the series couldn't be shopped elsewhere (with my personal choice being Amazon since they're already in the 'Good Omens" and "Anansi Boys" business). But I don't think it will get to that for no other reason than this has to be that shining moment in the otherwise fucked up business known as streaming where common sense and business sense shake hands, make nice & grab a few drinks.
But if Netflix still needs to hear this? Renew The Sandman. And don't make us wait until Tudum. Thank you in advance.
In fact, Netflix should embrace and run with the idea that it helped make the impossible possible. That it helped bankroll a television series adaptation of a comic book series that many considered to be beyond adapting. I mean, look at all of the past efforts that Gaiman (thankfully) shielded his art from. So with that in mind, we're looking for Netflix to do more than just a second-season pick-up (though that's still and will always be excellent). For a series like this, the creative team deserves a two-season order for them to really be able to dig into the heart of the story with the confidence that comes with not having to live season-to-season. Also? Throw out the binge drop model and embrace a 3-episode premiere/weekly drops after approach. Why? Because The Sandman is a show that redefines appointment television. That instead of a water cooler, it's social media for watch parties, live-tweets, etc. Take advantage of that in the ways that HBO Max's Peacemaker & Harley Quinn have, where an entire season feels like one big online party. And finally? Announce a six-episode limited series spinoff for Jenna Coleman's Johanna Constantine. The fans began putting that out there on social media within 24 hours of the series streaming, and the interest hasn't waivered since. And with HBO Max shelving (or possibly shopping) their "Constantine" series, it almost feels like a sign that this would be a good move.
But whatever its final decision turns out to be, it's time for Netflix to turn The Sandman fans' dreams into Season 2 reality. Because otherwise, we're going to lose Gaiman to the second season of Amazon's The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power… [Ed. Note: LOL ;) ]