Prodigal Son follows the story of former FBI agent, Malcolm Bright, as he uses his previous work experience and his serial killer father to help the New York Police Department solve their deadliest cases.
According to the cast and fans of the show, Prodigal Son was unlike any other show that Fox had airing when it premiered in 2019.
After an incredibly successful filming of the second season, the crime drama was cut in its sophomore year.
Ever since it was canceled, fans and cast members alike have begged and pleaded to have the show return.
Why Was Prodigal Son Cancelled?
Prodigal Son was canceled due to a massive drop in viewers and because it wasn’t as popular as the other criminal drama series that Fox had running at the same time.
Between the first season and second season alone, there was a 39% drop in the audience.
Fans of the drama series were devastated to hear that the show had been canceled, with many of them going to Twitter in an attempt to save their beloved show.
Several petitions were even started to get Fox to renew the show for at least one final season, but Fox hasn’t seemed to acknowledge the fans’ efforts.
The cast members of Prodigal Son have spoken publicly about their time filming the series and how they felt about their time on the show coming to a sudden end.
While most of the cast was grateful for Prodigal Son, there were also those who were just as heartbroken as the fans.
Tom Payne, who plays Malcolm Bright, felt that his role and castmates were a privilege to work alongside.
Although his show was ending, Payne encouraged the fans to watch the final few episodes because he and the entire crew had put so much effort into the final few episodes.
For Payne, the ability to work alongside actors such as Michael Sheen and Bellamy Young was just as much of an honor as being on the show.
Young was quick to agree with Payne and added that she felt the same way as many of the Prodigal Son fans.
Aurora Perrineau also took to Twitter to express her gratitude to the cast, the production crew behind the show, and even Warner Bros.
Similar sentiments were posted on Twitter by Perrineau’s fellow cast members, such as Keiko Agena, Sarah Schechter, and Lou Diamond Phillips.
What Was Going To Happen In Season Three?
During an interview with TVLine, Lou Diamond Phillips discussed what it was like getting the call that Prodigal Son was canceled rather than being given the third season that the cast and production team were expecting.
Lou Diamond Phillips, who plays Gil Arroyo, has a history with serial killers in film.
As a matter of fact, he and Bellamy Young had starred in the 2016 series The Night Stalker, in which Phillips portrayed real-life serial killer, Richard Ramirez.
When Phillips first got a phone call from Prodigal Son co-creator Chris Fedak, he was confident that Fedak was simply calling to let him know when filming would resume.
The cast had just recently finished filming the second season.
Rather than getting the renewal announcement that everyone was expecting, Prodigal Son had been canceled.
Like many of his fellow cast members, Lou Diamond Phillips was shocked and felt “blindsided” by Fox’s decision.
The cancellation was especially gut-wrenching for Phillips because Season Three was going to further explore Gil Arroyo’s story.
The storyline was going to take a closer look at Arroyo and Jessica Whitley’s romantic relationship.
With Arroyo falling in love with Malcolm Bright’s mother as Bright’s friend and boss, the writers also planned to take a serious look at how Gil and Jessica’s romance would affect Malcolm.
As fans of the show can imagine, things were expected to get awkward and even heated between Gil and Malcolm.
In the canceled season, fans were also going to be introduced to Gil’s late wife through flashbacks.
Fans would have gotten to see Gil’s loyalty and undying devotion to his late wife, attributes that can still be seen in him as an authority figure for Malcolm Bright.
Phillips still feels hurt by Fox’s decision to cut Prodigal Son short.
He truly felt that the show was special.
Is Netflix Going To Be Picking Up Prodigal Son?
No, Netflix will not be able to pick up Prodigal Son after Fox has dropped the crime drama series.
Netflix subscribers aren’t even able to stream the previous two seasons and instead have to look to alternate streaming options.
After Prodigal Son was canceled, fans petitioned to get the third season created even if it wasn’t going to be on the same platform.
Many of the Prodigal Son fans have turned to Netflix, pleading for the streaming platform to resurrect the dead show.
Netflix has a history of bringing back series that had once been canceled, with some of the most popular examples being Rocko’s Modern Life: Static Cling, Invader Zim: Enter the Florbus, the Winx series, and many more franchises.
However, Prodigal Son may not even be available to Netflix due to licensing agreements that different production companies have with certain streaming sites.
Sadly, Netflix has never had the rights to Prodigal Son, and the show has never been found on any of Netflix’s regional variants.
An entire website has been created with the intention of saving the canceled show.
On the site, you can watch as fans sign a petition to have the show renewed, look at how frequently people tweet in support of their cause, and even view a fan-made season three poster in case AppleTV+ were to undertake the show.
The poster comes with an essay that features fan accounts, data analysis, and a variety of graphs across 112 pages.
The fans who run this page are so dedicated to getting the show renewed because they believe that the show does an excellent job of showing people managing their mental health in a non-stigmatizing way and offers excellent representation for those who suffer from anxiety disorders through Malcolm Bright.
Is Prodigal Son Still On Hulu?
No, Prodigal Son is no longer on Hulu. Instead, the series can be found on HBO Max.
However, vocal Prodigal Son fans have taken to Hulu’s community page to voice their interest in Hulu taking over the third season of the drama.
Under the initial request for Hulu to pick up Prodigal Son, a few remaining comments are eager to agree with the commenter, “SimplyShelbs16.”
The crime drama is consistently being praised for being suspenseful and different from other crime dramas.
Hulu subscribers may have noticed that more and more of their favorite series are expiring or simply not being updated.
The reason Hulu keeps losing so many shows is that all the television channels are creating their own streaming platforms.
As more channels begin to create their own streaming platforms, traditional streaming platforms like Netflix and Hulu begin to suffer.
They are losing licensing rights rapidly, and the only solution is to either make their own agreements with established production companies or create their own content.
However, Hulu has decided to take a unique approach to save its streaming platform.
Hulu has teamed up with the sturdiest entertainment company to ever exist: Disney, through its streaming bundling program.
By offering itself as a package deal alongside the exclusive Disney+ and sports-focused ESPN+, Hulu is offering consumers the most variety in the type of shows it offers.
A household may purchase this package so the sports lover can watch their games, the Star Wars fan can get their fix of Kenobi (premiering May 27, 2022), and the interior design lover can watch a collection of house hunting shows.
With no other companies battling to make a third season of a show that fans, the cast, and the writers want to be created, fans were devastated when Hulu couldn’t make a renewal offer.
Will HBO Max Continue Prodigal Son?
No, HBO Max was given the offer to make the third season of the show premier as an HBO Max exclusive, but HBO Max outright declined the offer.
Back in May of 2021, the show was still being presented to a variety of other streaming sites, but nobody wanted to create a final season of the crime drama.
The reason that Prodigal Son was originally brought over to HBO Max from Hulu was that HBO and Warner Bros. TV are sibling companies.
That’s the same reason HBO Max has been able to claim entire franchises like Godzilla and King Kong.
Warner Bros. TV was in the process of taking Prodigal Son to a variety of networks to see who wanted the property, according to the creators Chris Fedak and Sam Sklaver.
At first, the creators believed that they were in the process of finding the series a new home.
It’s been a year of homelessness for the Prodigal Son franchise and still no updates on whether or not anyone has planned to pick up the series.
Until the crime drama finds a new home, it will be available for streaming on HBO Max.
What Made Prodigal Son Look So Gloomy?
Prodigal Son was filmed in a gray filter to give the scenes the dark and neutral aesthetic that it is best known for.
This popular cinematography technique makes it seem extremely opaque and can be spotted nearly everywhere in serious movies and television series, but not everyone is pleased with this overused film trick.
Gray filters have become increasingly popular over the past 20 to 30 years.
They give shots that many people may consider to be “intangible sludge,” taking a shot from bright and colorful to mellow and more uniform.
Although it’s not uncommon for shots to be a bit desaturated to make scenes easier on the viewers’ eyes, the slightly excessive desaturation can be spotted in shows like Prodigal Son and movies like The Justice League.
Desaturation has been done in film since before special effects or editing was done with computers.
When the film had to be edited by hand, the desaturation process was done through the use of chemicals and was an invaluable part of the editing process that allowed the earliest forms of post-filming color correction.
One of the easiest ways a film or television series can affect the way a viewer feels about a scene is to manipulate the color of a scene.
If things are going well for the character, and they’re in a warm climate, you may notice that the colors of a scene are bright and vibrant.
The scenes in Prodigal Son rarely call for vibrant color and more often are supported by the dark and neutral colors that a gray filter offers.
Although gray filters are effective, some media fanatics are feeling a bit tired of the technique.
Those who oppose the excessive use of gray filters believe that the craze was caused by computer editing or even The Matrix.
Why Does Fox Keep Canceling Good Shows?
Those who rely on Fox for their entertainment may have noticed that this entertainment company is cutting beloved shows left and right, despite ratings being high.
These business moves have completely blindsided many actors and left actors reluctant to work with them.
Fox Network keeps canceling all of its good shows because of a deal that the channel made with the National Football League for Thursday Night Football, where the professional football league has asked for more than 30 hours of the channel’s time.
Because of this deal, fan-favorite shows like Prodigal Son, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, The Exorcist, The Last Man on Earth, Lucifer, and The Mick have all been canceled to make room for the National Football League’s request.
Fox purchased the rights to Thursday Night Football for the next five years, which has earned the deal a value of $550 million per year.
This agreement means that Fox will be airing the next 11 regular-season games between Week 4 and Week 15, but the deal excludes Thanksgiving night because NBC will continue to be the channel for the big Thanksgiving game.
Although this deal has killed a variety of Fox’s most popular shows, it is definitely worth the money that Fox spent.
When NBC and CBS were airing professional football games, they were paying $45 million per game despite the games simulcasting on NFL Network and taking their viewers.
When Fox bought the rights to Thursday Night Football, the network also purchased the digital rights.
This meant that Fox could successfully attract the sports fans who were refusing to pay for traditional cable and expand their digital presence.
Fox’s five-year deal with the National Football League will soon come to a close, but fans of canceled shows are hopeful for their shows’ return afterward.
What Stories Is Prodigal Son Based On?
Like every good crime series, Prodigal Son isn’t just from the twisted imagination of the writers’ minds.
Actors Michael Sheen and Tom Hardy took inspiration from some of the nastiest serial killer stories they could find.
Tom Hardy felt particularly inspired by a podcast called Happy Face, which is hosted by the daughter of the 1990s Happy Face Killer as she discovers more about her father’s dark past and how it has affected other people and herself.
What Hardy took from the podcast host’s life story was the hurt that she felt alongside the many other people who were affected by her father.
Before listening to the podcast, Hardy had only really thought about the fear that Malcolm Bright must have been feeling and he learned that he also needed to allow Malcolm to show grief and remorse.
The Happy Face Killer was a man named Keith Jesperson who raped and murdered eight women.
At first, an innocent couple was wrongly accused, so the killer began leaving confessions of his crimes in truck stop bathrooms and signed each one with a smiling face.
Meanwhile, Michael Sheen took inspiration from Dr. Harold Shipman, who would later be known as Dr. Death.
Shipman murdered 218 patients through lethal injections from 1975 until he was finally caught in 1998.
Sheen was also inspired by another serial killer who once tried to keep the relationship alive between himself and his daughter and granddaughter, but Sheen didn’t want to mention the name of the serial killer or the killer’s family members.
Although Prodigal Son is gone, there are plenty of haunting stories that have been left untold.