Netflix Cancels Meghan Markle’s Series in Development Stage Amid Streamer’s Cutbacks

The series was set to follow an adolescent girl who learns life lessons from strong female historical figures.
Prince Harry, Meghan Markle on stage for Global Citizen Concert 2021 NYC - Part 2, The Great Lawn in Central Park, New York, NY September 25, 2021. Photo By: Kristin Callahan/Everett Collection
Prince Harry, Meghan Markle

Meghan Markle’s first animated series under Archewell Productions officially was given the ax by Netflix as the streamer re-evaluates its upcoming slate amid an exodus of subscribers.

The Duchess of Sussex announced the series last summer. Tentatively titled “Pearl,” the Netflix show was going to follow a 12-year-old girl on a path of self-discovery inspired by famous female figures throughout history.

Markle served as an executive producer on the series along with Elton John’s husband, David Furnish. “Pearl” was created through Markle and husband Prince Harry’s Archewell Productions, which inked a multiyear deal with Netflix in 2020 to create television series, docuseries, documentaries, features, and children’s programming.

“Like many girls her age, our heroine Pearl is on a journey of self-discovery as she tries to overcome life’s daily challenges,” Markle previously said. “I’m thrilled that Archewell Productions, partnered with the powerhouse platform of Netflix and these incredible producers, will together bring you this new animated series, which celebrates extraordinary women throughout history. David Furnish and I have been eager to bring this special series to light, and I am delighted we are able to announce it today.”

“Pearl” was in the development stage as Archewell is currently in production on the documentary series “Heart of Invictus.”

The animated show was just one of the several Netflix series canceled last week, with “Raising Dion” and star-studded “Space Force” ending after two seasons on the streamer. Two other animated kids shows still in production — “Dino Daycare” and “Boons and Curses” — were also canceled last week. The fate of the new sketch series “Murderville” is still unknown.

“Those shows set the bar really high for us,” Netflix’s head of comedy Tracey Pakosta told Deadline. “They were they’re all incredible shows and we have great things coming up. It’s much more of a holistic conversation than just plugging a show in to fill another.”

Netflix last week also laid off a number of staffers at its fan-focused website, Tudum.

Netflix recently announced an upcoming comedy series based on Megan Thee Stallion’s life and Ramy Youssef’s latest series co-created with lead star Mo Amer titled “Mo.” Mike Myers’ “Pentaverate,” “Blockbuster,” and “That ’90s Show” additionally promise a blast from the past for the streamer too.

Netflix revealed it had actually lost 200,000 global paid subscribers in the first quarter of 2022 and is expecting an additional loss of an estimated 2 million paid subscribers before the quarter is finished.

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