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Hulu's The Hardy Boys Canceled After Three Seasons

The Hardy Boys have been one of the longest-running fixtures of pop culture in any format. The franchise started with the novel "The Tower Treasure" in 1927, which was attributed to an author named Franklin W. Dixon but which, according to Hardy Boys Online, was actually written by a group known as The Stratemeyer Syndicate, founded by children's book mogul Edward Stratemeyer. The books became extremely popular, although from 1959 through 1973, the first 38 books were rewritten to simplify the writing and remove racial stereotypes.

Attempts to adapt the books for film or television go all the way back to 1956 when "The Hardy Boys: The Mystery of the Applegate Treasure" was aired as part of "The Mickey Mouse Club." There was another series that aired from 1969-1971, which, according to "The Cartoon Music Book" by Daniel Goldmark and Charles L. Granata, was an animated adaptation where the boys were also in a rock band. Then "The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries" ran from 1977-1979, teaming up The Hardy Boys with their frequent ally, who was also created by the Stratemeyer Syndicate. There was the 1995 television series that only lasted 13 episodes. And then, of course, there's the 2020 Hulu adaptation, complete with an entirely new origin story from the books in which the boys' mother is killed in a car accident.

Started in 2020, the Hulu adaptation of "The Hardy Boys" was, according to Variety, a production based entirely in Canada with only Canadian actors. But after three seasons on the streaming service, Hulu has chosen to cancel the show following its third season.

The boys are not back

According to Variety, the third season of "The Hardy Boys," which is still being shot in southern Ontario, Canada, will be the last season for the show. The final season will consist of eight episodes, an hour in length each, and will have Bailee Madison of "Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin" joining the cast.

Pam Westman, president of the production company Nelvana that produced the show, had nothing but positive things to say about the work on the show thus far. "The exceptional cast and crew brought the revered Hardy Boys adventures to life, successfully engaged audiences around the world and garnered awards and critical acclaim," Westman told Variety. "As this mystery comes to a close, we're looking forward to providing fans with more mystery-solving action, surprising turn-of-events, and laughs in a wild final season." The show has received a number of awards, including two from the Canadian Screen Awards.

On social media, most people responded to the news by announcing that they never knew that such a show existed. "Hulu had a hardy boys show?" wrote u/fallingcave in a r/television thread about the cancellation. "I didn't know there was a season 1," wrote u/Gorgeousjeff. "Wake me up when they do a gritty take on the boxcar children." So, it would seem that lack of awareness about the show may have contributed to its early cancellation.