Porn site offers to save cult sci-fi hit Sense8

xHamster says it has the cash, the audience and the inclusive outlook to make it the perfect home for a show popular with LGBTQ people

Sense8 characters

When Netflix announced that it was calling time on groundbreaking sci-fi series Sense8 after two seasons, there was an outcry from fans – so much so that the streaming giant agreed to commission a final two-hour special due next year.

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However, that was never going to fulfil the much longer story arc the show’s creators Lana and Lilly Wachowski and J Michael Straczynski had in mind and it won’t solve the problem of the loss of a show whose inclusive outlook had particular appeal to LGBTQ viewers.

What Sense8 needs is for another broadcaster to come in and save it, and just such a proposition has come from a very unexpected source – a porn site.

In an open letter to the Wachowskis, Alex Hawkins, vice president of pornography streaming website xHamster, is offering the resources to make a third season of Sense8, to be shown on the site – and he’s at pains to make clear that he’s not talking about the kind of parody you might usually associate with porn “but an actual revival of the series”.

“We recently read that you’re working on a third season of Sense8 despite the fact that Netflix has no plans to renew the series,” writes Hawkins. “We know it’s unconventional, but we want to bring it back — on xHamster. We’re not talking about a parody, or something less than, but an actual revival of the series.”

To back up the offer, Hawkins cites xHamster’s huge audience and a generous prospective production budget for the show.

“xHamster is currently one of the most trafficked websites on the internet. We get more visitors daily than the New York Times, ESPN or the Daily Mail. In short, we have the eyeballs and the revenue. Unlike with Netflix, you wouldn’t be competing for part of our production budget – it would be yours.”

The letter also argues that xHamster would be the perfect host for Sense8 given its expansive approach to sexuality and “long history of fighting for the rights of sexual speech, and non-normative sexuality.”

“We know that a series about polymorphous perversity is a hard sell for a mainstream network like Netflix,” writes Hawkins. “We have no such limitations, and also understand implicitly the interconnectedness of sexualities across boundaries…

“xHamster has a long history of fighting for the rights of sexual speech, and non-normative sexuality. In addition to allowing billions of users to connect with individual articulations of gender and sexuality, we continue to use our audience to speak up against repressive anti-LGBTQ laws in the US and abroad, and for sex ed in public schools, Planned Parenthood and the rights of sex workers.”

Could this really be the next step in the fast-evolving profile of TV production and collaboration?

“We know we’re an unlikely home,” admits Hawkins. “But five years ago, people laughed at the idea of Netflix producing original series. We think that our time, like yours, has come.”

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Watch this space.