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SYFY WIRE The Sandman

Why hasn't 'The Sandman' been renewed for Season 2 yet? Neil Gaiman explains why Netflix is waiting

As with everything in Hollywood, it all comes down to money.

By Josh Weiss
Tom Sturridge as Dream in episode 101 of The Sandman

Upon its awakening earlier this month, Netflix's long-awaited adaptation of The Sandman comics (written by Neil Gaiman and published by DC's now-defunct Vertigo imprint) racked up 127.5 million viewership hours in its first week, making it the top title on the platform in the United States.

It also landed among the Top 10 most-viewed Netflix titles in 93 countries across the globe. So the big question on everyone's minds is when (and if) the series will be renewed for a second season, as there are plenty of Sandman comics left to bring to the screen. Despite the project's impressive streaming performance these last few weeks, Gaiman didn't mince words about why the company is hesitant to provide a green-light for more episodes. As with all things in the world of entertainment, it comes down to the almighty dollar.

They don't call it the movie business for nothing, folks.

"Sandman is a really expensive show," the writer and executive producer tweeted over the weekend in response to a fan query. "And for Netflix to release the money to let us make another season we have to perform incredibly well. So yes, we've been the top show in the world for the last two weeks. That still may not be enough." 

In another post, Gaiman added that Netflix is only looking at "'competition rates,' so people watching it at their own pace don't show up." To that end, he urged audiences to "encourage all your friends to watch Sandman. Encourage all your friends who have begun to watch Sandman but got distracted by life to finish watching Sandman."

Joe Hill — whose Locke & Key comic with Gabriel Rodriguez was adapted by Netflix for a total of three seasons (the final one is now streaming) — added his voice to the conversation, advocating for those who are still on the fence to check out the show at their earliest convenience. "To use a horrid industry term, engagement matters, especially immediate, overwhelming engagement," he wrote on social media. "We can have 5 - 7 seasons of this, but only if you show Netflix you want it."

Should Netflix decide not to renew the series, Gaiman & Co. would be able to shop it around to other streamers like Apple TV+, Prime Video, or HBO Max. But it's not all bad news on the Gaiman front: according to the man himself, Amazon has officially wrapped production on Season 2 of Good Omens.

All 10 episodes of The Sandman are now available to stream on Netflix along with a special, two-part bonus episode that adapts two short stories from the Dream Country comic book collection. The show currently holds a fresh 86 percent score on Rotten Tomatoes.

Looking for some fantasy content? Click here for our list of the best fantasy films available on Peacock.