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The Right Stuff grounded (for now): Disney+ cancels space race drama after inaugural season

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Apr 2, 2021, 11:42 PM EDT (Updated)

The Right Stuff, the Space Race drama starring Suits' Patrick J. Adams, reportedly won't be blasting off for a second season.... at least not at Disney+. According to Deadline, the streaming service opted not to pick up the series for another season after it had originally premiered in October 2020. But perhaps the race isn't over for the show just yet.

Based on the 1979 non-fiction book by Tom Wolfe, the series — made in conjunction with National Geographic and Warner Bros. Television, and produced by Leonardo DiCaprio's production company, Appian Way — takes place in the late 1950s, and chronicles the rise of NASA and the crew of the Mercury 7, a group of military test pilots-turned-astronauts racing the U.S.S.R. to become the first man in space.

Future seasons planned to focus on even more of the Space Race, up through Apollo 11's triumphant lunar landing in 1969. The first season's finale ended on President Kennedy's 1961 challenge to land a man on the Moon by the end of the decade. 

For fans of the series, don't fret quite yet. Warner Bros. Television, the studio behind The Right Stuff, is shopping it around to other outlets. (TNT and HBO Max, networks that belong to WarnerMedia, have naturally been considered.)

Another issue the show is facing is that the cast options expire on Saturday, though WBTV has reportedly asked for a two-week extension while pursuing a new home. Should the series return, it'll move production from Florida to California, thanks to a pricey $13.7 million relocation incentive. 

According to Variety, which confirmed the cancellation, there are two versions of the show being shopped around: one with the current cast following the current time line, and one with a new cast set in the '80s. 

Either way, this reportedly marks the first cancellation for Disney+. The streaming service, nearly 18 months old now, has largely been erring on the side of one-and-done miniseries, be it recent fare like WandaVision or behind the scenes documentaries focusing on films like Frozen II. What renewals there have been so far only consist of unscripted series The World According to Jeff Goldblum and its debut original series The MandalorianThe second season of Goldblum had to shut production down due to the pandemic, while the third season of Mandalorian will arrive in 2022 to accommodate for its first spinoff, The Book of Boba Fett.