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Hulu cancels space drama The First after one season

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Sean Penn’s show won’t get a second chance

Picture: Hulu

Hulu has canceled its space drama The First, after a single season, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The series, which launched last year, followed the astronauts and theif families as they prepared to travel to Mars.

Hulu ordered the series from House of Cards showrunner Beau Willimon back in 2017 for an eight-episode season. The show follows the efforts of a private space company in 2033 as it prepared a mission to the red planet, and starred Sean Penn as the leader of that expedition. (Spoilers ahead)

After the company’s first effort mission ends in disaster, it struggled to justify and prepare a second mission, led by Tom Hagerty (Penn). The season followed the impact of those preparations on the astronauts and their families, ended as that mission launches into space and prepares for the injection burn that will take them to Mars. Now, the fate of that mission will be left up to viewers’ imaginations.

The show, while generally positively received by critics was also criticized for being slow and drawn out. The show had the potential to act as one of Hulu’s big critical hits (with added pedigree from House of Card creator Willimon), which would bolster its roster of acclaimed original projects like The Handmaid’s Tale, as it competes against the likes of Netflix and other streaming services. The platform has other big projects coming up, including a fourth season of Veronica Mars, a miniseries adaptation of Catch-22, and two shows set in George R.R. Martin’s Wildcards superhero universe.