Shadowhunters will not be returning to Freeform for a fourth season.
In news that took fans by surprise today, the network announced that it will close the door on the series following the airing of this season’s remaining episodes.
“We are very proud of Shadowhunters, a series that broke new ground in the genre world and became a fan favorite,” the network said. “However, along with our partners at Constantin, we reached the very difficult decision not to renew the show for a fourth season. But as big supporters and fans ourselves, Freeform insisted on and championed the filming of a special two-part finale that would give devoted fans a proper ending.”
The show averaged almost 400,000 weekly viewers during the first half of its third season run, a figure that is sharply down from season 2.
Shadowhunters will return in Spring of 2019 with Season 3 B, and 12 new episodes titled The Final Hunt. This last batch of episodes will also feature a special two hour sendoff as the show attempts to wrap up its three season storyline satisfactorily.
Karey Burke, EVP of Programming and Development, addressed the cancellation during a media luncheon in New York recently, saying the decision to cancel was “purely economic.” Although shows are rarely cancelled for any other reason, Burke went on to explain a key element in the decision lay in Shadowhunters co-production partner Constantin Film, and their deal with Netflix for the show’s episodes. With Freeform making a strategic decision to lean into shorter seasons with a smaller number of episodes in each batch ordered at any one time, Netflix and Constantin found it ultimately impossible to reach a deal.
“We went back and forth with them,” said Burke “but ultimately we just couldn’t make the economics work.”