Netflix Gearing Up to Axe Dead Boy Detectives After Disappointing Start?

Netflix Gearing Up to Axe Dead Boy Detectives After Disappointing Start?
Image credit: Netflix

It looks like the TV series based on Gaiman's comic book is in danger of being axed.


  • Not long ago, Neil Gaiman fans were treated to the release of Dead Boy Detectives.
  • Despite rave reviews, ratings were quite low.
  • As a result, Season 2 may never see the light of day.

On April 25, a new series was released that all fans of Neil Gaiman's work have been waiting for an incredibly long time. After all, this is not just a live-action adaptation of one of the famous American author's works, but a story that takes place in the same universe as The Sandman! We are, of course, talking about Dead Boy Detectives, a young adult comedy-drama that skillfully combines elements of occult detective and supernatural horror.

The new series has pleasantly impressed critics and audiences alike, with an astounding 93% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. But despite fan love, rave reviews, and the top spot on Netflix 's regional charts, Dead Boy Detectives doesn't seem to be getting the ratings it deserves. Unfortunately, all of this puts the show at risk of cancellation.

What Is This Show Again?

Created by Steve Yockey, Dead Boy Detectives is a spin-off from the Netflix adaptation of The Sandman. The characters, introduced in the original comic book of the same name, were created by Neil Gaiman himself, as well as illustrators Matt Wagner and Malcolm Jones III.

Dead Boy Detectives is a detective duo consisting of two dead teenagers, one of whom, Edwin Payne (George Rexstrew), was killed in a ritualistic murder in the early 20th century and dragged to Hell by a demon. However, certain events devastate Hell, and Edwin returns to Earth in 1989, where he meets a living high school student Charles Rowland (Jaden Revry), who was also killed shortly thereafter. Together, they refuse to follow Death into the afterlife and decide to embark on dangerous supernatural adventures as friends.

The Show's Ratings in the First Days after Its Debut

According to Netflix, for the week of April 22-28, 2024, Dead Boy Detectives managed to make its way to second place in the Top 10 most popular English-language shows, behind only Baby Reindeer. Dead Boy Detectives amassed 22.2 million hours watched and 3.1 million views (which are not unique views as in the case of other streaming services' stats, but the result of total hours divided by the show's runtime).

Even though the new series continues to hold its own on many regional charts as of this writing, the numbers were incredibly low at launch. French newsletter Netflix & Chiffres cited an interesting statistic, comparing the ratings of Dead Boy Detectives in its first days of release to other shows that made it into the Top 10.

The new show was sandwiched between two other YA series, Glamorous (2.1 million) and The Imperfects (3.4 million), both of which were canceled after one season due to low ratings. The situation with Dead Boy Detectives might have been different if there had been a spike in the second week, but unfortunately it was 4.1 million, which is also quite low.

Does This Mean That Netflix Will Cancel the Show?

Regrettably, all signs point to Dead Boy Detectives getting the axe. Netflix & Chiffres also compared the new series to the performance of two other canceled YA shows, Lockwood & Co. and Half-Bad, and also compared it to The Sandman for clarity. The result was that Dead Boy Detectives only slightly outperformed Half-Bad.

The second season was reportedly already in development, and the showrunners clearly had big plans. Of course, it's too early to tell if Netflix will actually decide to cancel the show; it's quite possible that the second season has already been greenlit. Otherwise, the fate of Dead Boy Detectives could be disappointing.

All eight episodes of Dead Boy Detectives Season 1 are available to stream on Netflix.

Source: Netflix & Chiffres.

Do you think Netflix will renew Dead Boy Detectives?