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Why Was Julie And The Phantoms Season 2 Canceled?

An abrupt swan song for "Julie and the Phantoms" — the Netflix series that put a supernatural spin on young stardom was canceled just after one season. The show follows teenager Julie Molina (Madison Reyes), who is hesitant to share her musical talents following the death of her mom. In Episode 1, "Wake Up," she ventures into her garage, where she finds instruments and a CD left behind by the rock band Sunset Curve, whose members died right before their show at the Orpheum in the 1990s. Upon playing their music, the band members' spirits appear, and they work to help Julie follow her dreams while they get another chance to play on stage.

The series premiered on Netflix in 2020. In December 2021, executive producer and director Kenny Ortega announced the show's cancellation via his Instagram account. "Although our hearts are saddened, we move on with such pride for what we accomplished as a team and the family we built while creating Julie," he wrote.

A number of factors may have contributed to the cancellation, including Netflix's history of ending shows after one season. The show also gained a much older fanbase than anticipated, which may have been due to the involvement of Ortega — known for his work on "High School Musical" — and series stars like Booboo Stewart and Jeremy Shada, known for big projects that are nostalgic for those who grew up in the early 2010s.

But crew members had ideas as to what Season 2 would have looked like.

What fans may have seen during Season 2 of Julie and the Phantoms

During the final episode of "Julie and the Phantoms" — Episode 9, "Stand Tall" — the band prepares to play at the Orpheum. Villain Caleb Covington (Cheyenne Jackson) almost puts a stop to their performance as he tries to control Luke Patterson (Charlie Gillespie), Alex Mercer (Owen Patrick Joyner), and Reggie Peters (Jeremy Shada). Near the episode's end, Julie's genuine care for her bandmates makes them stronger, breaking Caleb's hold. He retaliates by possessing Nick (Sacha Carlson). 

The cast and crew had plenty of ideas for what Season 2 would entail. In September 2020, executive producers Dan Cross and David Hoge told TVLine that they would like to see the band gain worldwide success while taking more time with the ghosts' storylines. "We had stuff for both Reggie and Alex that just didn't make it into the final drafts. But a second season would give us that opportunity," they said. 

Meanwhile, Shada told Entertainment Weekly, "I would love to see more of my character's backstory, like his family and how he ended up in this trio of total dorks. Seeing how the three phantoms became as close friends as they are, essentially brothers."

Fans continue to hold out hope for the show. In February 2022, Kenny Ortega took to Instagram to post pictures of "Save Julie and the Phantoms" billboards funded by fans.