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The Real Reason L.A.'s Finest Season 3 Was Canceled

"L.A.'s Finest," a spinoff of the "Bad Boys" film franchise, stars Gabrielle Union and Jessica Alba as Los Angeles Police Department officers. Sydney Burnett (Union) is an ex-DEA agent who has recently transferred to LAPD and is partnered with Nancy McKenna (Alba), who is secretly a former career criminal.

The series premiered on Spectrum Originals in May 2019 and then also had its network premiere on Fox in September 2020 before finally reaching Netflix in December 2020 (via Newsweek). And while a second season was picked up and then released, airing its final episode in September 2020, it was soon canceled. As of now, only the first season is on Netflix, although, now that all the episodes have aired on Fox, they may be adding the next season soon, giving Netflix users a chance to catch up on the rest of the series.

Here's what we know about the show's cancelation.

It might be tied to the Black Lives Matter movement

There's currently no concrete answer as to why the show was canceled, but Newsweek pointed out a relevant piece of information that was originally reported by Deadline in June 2020. The Season 2 premiere of "L.A.'s Finest" was pushed back so it wouldn't air in the midst of the George Floyd protests. Since the show focused on two cops as protagonists, it seemed tone deaf to air it during widespread protests against police brutality.

This may be part of the reason the show was canceled. After all, the long-running reality show "Cops" was canceled in June 2020 as well, in direct response to the protests (via The New York Times). The civil rights group Color of Change expressed its support for this decision. "This is the right move and I want to give Paramount credit for being one of the first. We want to see more," Rashad Robinson, executive director of the group, told The New York Times. "These cop reality shows that glorify police but will never show the deep level of police violence are not reality, they are P.R. arms for law enforcement. Law enforcement doesn't need P.R. They need accountability in this country." 

L.A.'s Finest didn't lack for viewers

Because Spectrum Originals is a relatively obscure platform (compared to, say, Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, or HBO Max), it seems possible that the show didn't draw enough eyeballs to justify the cost of its A-list cast and IP, even though it quickly moved to Fox for a secondary run. While that certainly could explain Spectrum's unwillingness to move forward with Season 3, it certainly doesn't explain why Netflix wouldn't step in with a green light, waving its golden checkbook. At one point, "L.A.'s Finest" became one of the Top Ten most-watched shows on Netflix domestically, according to Newsweek, so the audience was obviously there. 

All of this is to say that "L.A.'s Finest" certainly wasn't helped by its complicated release strategy — which involved a launch on an obscure platform, a secondary network run in primetime, and a tertiary licensing deal with a popular streaming platform — but the audience did eventually show up, suggesting a different motivation for the premature cancelation.

Other than the hard viewing data, this is all just speculation, of course, but the timing of the cancelation does seem to square with the political explanation. That fact makes it less likely that Netflix will ride to the 11th-hour rescue, however, which is certainly unfortunate for fans. Sorry, folks, but "L.A.'s Finest" does not appear to be the next "Cobra Kai." 

We'll just have to wait and see if any more information is released about the end of "L.A.'s Finest," before drawing different conclusions.