Crime thriller Prodigal Son season two begins this month in the UK, but fans on both sides of the Atlantic were shocked when the series was cancelled after two seasons.


In the US (where season two has already aired), fans were particularly surprised given how climactic the second season finale was.

The finale featured a shocking moment involving the titular 'son,' criminologist Malcolm Bright (Tom Payne in the Prodigal Son cast), and his serial killer father Martin (Michael Sheen).

However, fans have since mobilised, using the hashtag #SaveProdigalSon, in addition to a petition to save Prodigal Son and the dedicated Save Prodigal Son website.

At the time of writing, the petition has over 43,000 signatures, and that number is steadily climbing.

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Read on for everything you need to know about why Prodigal Son was cancelled, and whether it could be picked up for season three.

Why was Prodigal Son cancelled?

In May 2021 it was announced that Prodigal Son had been cancelled by Fox, and would not be renewed for a third season.

The previous year, Prodigal Son was renewed for a second season – but the coronavirus pandemic meant that the season was cut short, with just 20 episodes instead of the originally planned 22.

On the Save Prodigal Son website, there's references to the fact that the crime thriller was adversely impacted by the pandemic.

"In May 2021, the series was canceled after only two seasons, despite both seasons being impacted by the COVID pandemic," the website reads.

"We aim to reverse this decision. Join us in #SaveProdigalSon so that we can ensure a season three for one of the best crime thrillers on television!"

Will Prodigal Son be picked up?

Michael Sheen plays Dr Martin Whitly in Prodigal Son
Michael Sheen plays Dr Martin Whitly in Prodigal Son

Fox has officially cancelled Prodigal Son, and the season two finale tied up plenty of loose threads.

However, the creators of Prodigal Son, Chris Fedak, and Sam Sklaver, have suggested that the show could be picked up by another network or streamer, in the same way Lucifer was saved by Netflix.

Deadline reported in mid-May that the two creators were already pitching season three ideas, and that there was plenty of interest. “WBTV is shopping it as we speak,” they told the site.

Fan interest in the show's return could also be a deciding factor, although it doesn't always lead to success – Anne with an E was cancelled, and despite fan efforts the period drama has yet to be picked up.

What is the Save Prodigal Son campaign?

The #SaveProdigalSon campaign aims to persuade either Fox or another network or streamer to renew the series for a third season.

The petition is addressed to Netflix, Hulu, and HBO Max, suggesting that the creator hopes that one of the three streamers will pick up Prodigal Son.

"I implore [Fox] chairman Rupert Murdoch and Executive chairman Lachlan Murdoch, Michael Thorn to give “Prodigal Son” more seasons and give viewers more reasons to stick around or let HBO Max, Netflix, or Hulu pick it up to continue the story," the creator writes.

On the Save Prodigal Son website, the official "mission" is "to bring the Prodigal Son fan community together to save the television show and find it a new home on another network or streaming service through signing petitions, twitter campaigns, sending online queries, letters to Warner Brothers and more! We are dedicated to fighting for this unique show."


Prodigal Son airs in the UK on Sky and NOW. If you're looking for more to watch, check out our TV Guide.