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Netflix Cancels Meghan Markle’s Animated Kids’ Series ‘Pearl’

The project was set to be the first from Markle and Prince Harry’s new content house, Archewell Productions; ‘Dino Daycare’ and ‘Boons and Curses’ also reportedly axed.

Adding to its avalanche of cutbacks amidst a significant drop in stock value and subscriber losses, Netflix has unceremoniously cancelled Pearl, the animated series created by Meghan Markle, Deadline reports.

Pearl was intended to be the first title from Archewell Productions, the company founded by Markle and Prince Harry to create scripted series, docuseries, features, and children’s programming for Netflix. When the series was announced last summer, it was billed as the story of a 12-year-old girl who draws inspiration from important women figures in history. Markle said that the show would follow the titular protagonist’s “journey of self-discovery as she tries to overcome life’s challenges.” 

At the time of its cancellation, Pearl had not moved beyond development. According to Deadline, people close to the project say that there is still a feeling of “bullishness” from Netflix, and that the streamer is still invested in a variety of projects with Archewell, such as its forthcoming doc series Heart of Invictus.

Of course, Pearl is far from the only animated series at Netflix to get the axe. Last week, it was reported that executive producer Chris Nee’s (Ada Twist) Dino Daycare and Jaydeep Hasrajani’s action-comedy series Boons and Curses were both cancelled in the middle of production.

As Netflix takes a hard look at its historically high spend on new content, animation creators previously drawn to the streamer are beginning to take their projects elsewhere. City of Ghosts creator Elizabeth Ito and Centaurworld executive producer Dominic Bisignano, for instance, both recently left for Apple and Cartoon Network, respectively. Ito’s series was cancelled by Netflix despite critical acclaim; Bisignano’s became a fan favorite, but ended after two short seasons despite creator Megan Nicole Dong’s stated desire for it to continue.

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Max Weinstein is a writer and editor based in Los Angeles. He is the Editor-at-Large of 'Dread Central' and former Editorial Director of 'MovieMaker.' His work has been featured in 'Cineaste,' 'Fangoria,' 'Playboy,' 'Vice,' and 'The Week.'