Pantheon, Inside Job Pantheon, Inside Job

AMC Networks has pulled the plug on its adult animated sci-fi series Pantheon and removed it from the AMC+ platform, despite having already produced a second season of the program, and Netflix has canceled Inside Job, which it only just renewed for a second season in June of last year.

Why is AMC dropping Pantheon if it already produced a second season? Facing financial struggles, the decision to drop Pantheon was made months ago as part of wider programming writer-offs. In an SEC filing, AMC indicated cost-cutting measures of $300-$400 million earmarked for “strategic programming assessments” and another $50-$75 million for “organizing restructuring costs.” AMC has been experiencing turmoil at the top, and in November of 2022, AMC Networks CEO Christina Spade left the company after only three months in charge. James L. Dolan took over as interim CEO and the company announced there would be “significant cutbacks” coming. Pantheon was a casualty of those cutbacks, along with live-action shows such as 61st Street, Demascus, and Invitation to a Bonfire.

Why did Netflix drop Inside Job so shortly after renewing? The “Why?” here is harder to discern, as we don’t have SEC records to confirm anything and Netflix hasn’t made a public statement about the show’s cancelation. Inside Job being dropped by the streamer comes as a surprise considering the show was just renewed for a second season back in June of 2022, shortly before the launch of part two of season one. 2022 saw Netflix drop numerous confirmed titles though, so it’s becoming harder to be shocked by any such cancelations.

Who is hurt by these cancelations? The fans are hurt of course, but it’s the artists who dedicated months and years of their lives to these series that really suffer. Ignoring the emotional toll of spending countless hours on a project that is never seen, artists depend on their most recent work to find their next project. When episodes, seasons, or films are shelved by studios – who own the rights and can keep the titles under lock and key –  the people who worked on them have nothing tangible to show for their efforts. Veteran tv producer Carina Adly Mackenzie discussed the issue on Twitter, saying:

The best comparison I can make is it’s almost like if you want to become a restaurant manager, so you work at a restaurant for a year doing EVERYTHING you’re told, and then corporate says “thanks for great work, but you can’t put this year on your resume.” There’s just this hole. Yeah, you got paid. But you have nothing to show for the experience you have now.

What do the shows have in common? Both were ambitious animated series with high production values. They both also featured rich and complex storylines that were geared toward an adult audience. Each featured some near-future science fiction aspects, and both boasted big-name voice casts that probably didn’t help with budgeting. Inside Job’s cast included Lizzy Caplan, Christian Slater, Clark Duke, Andrew Daly, Bobby Lee, John DiMaggio, Tisha Campbell, and Brett Gelman. Pantheon’s cast included Daniel Dae Kim, Paul Dano, Taylor Schilling, Rosemarie DeWitt, Aaron Eckhart, Ron Livingston, Chris Diamantopoulos, Raza Jaffrey, William Hurt (his last role before his death), and many others.

Are both shows gone for good? Sadly, with so many platforms dropping animated content, the chances that either of these fan-favorite series might be saved seem low. Although, in the case of Pantheon AMC did say in its SEC filing that “the Company may realize some future licensing and other revenue associated with some of the owned titles,” so fans shouldn’t give up hope just yet. With Inside Job, fans can at least still watch season one on Netflix.

Reaction: Inside Job creator Shion Takeuchi confirmed the show’s cancelation on social media, lamenting what might have been if she and her team had been allowed to finish their story:

I’m heartbroken to confirm that Netflix has decided to cancel season 2 of Inside Job. Over the years, these characters have become real people to me, and I am devastated not to be able to watch them grow up. Reagan and Brett deserved to get their ending and finally find happiness. And I would have loved to been able to share what was in store with you all.

To everyone who watched, thank you for coming along on the ride. Even though I’m sad, It helps to know that there’s people out there who cared just as much about these characters as me.

Pictured at top: Pantheon, Inside Job

Jamie Lang

Jamie Lang is the Editor-in-Chief of Cartoon Brew.