Netflix cancels Meghan Markle animated series ‘Pearl’

The streaming service has made a number of cutbacks after a drop in subscribers.

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THE HAGUE - The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Prince Harry and his wife Meghan Markle, during the athletics section of the fifth edition of the Invictus Games, an international sporting event for servicemen and veterans who have been psychologically or physically injured during their military service. ANP SEM VAN DER WAL (Photo by ANP via Getty Images)
ANP via Getty Images

Netflix is tightening its purse strings after a drop in subscribers. Deadline reported that the streaming platform canceled production on Pearl, an animated series created by Meghan Markle, before it was even finished. The project was a part of a multi-year production deal that Markle and Prince Harry signed with Netflix back in 2020. The animated family series followed a 12-year girl as she learned about influential women throughout history. The show is only the latest casualty in a recent series of cost-saving measures by the streamer, including firing most of the writing staff for its fan site project and canceling the show Space Force. It also axed two other animated children’s series, Dino Daycare and Boons and Curses, reported People.

Netflix confirmed to CNBC that the cancellation of Pearl is a part of strategic decisions it is making around animated series. The platform has invested heavily in animation since 2018, and was projected by Loup Ventures to spend $5 billion on original animated content this year. But the company’s boomtown mentality appears to have shifted, at least for now.

The company’s market value dropped a staggering $60 billion after a disappointing first-quarter earnings call last month. The streamer lost roughly 200,000 subscribers in the first few months of 2022, its first decline in nearly a decade. A number of factors led to the drop, including competition from rival platforms like Disney+ and Hulu, halting service to Russia and widespread password sharing.

Deadline reported that a number of projects through Archwell Productions — the production company owned by Markle and Prince Harry — are still in the works, including a docuseries on the Invictus Games.

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