Paramount Cancels Its Best Anthology Series

There goes another one!

By Michileen Martin | Published

paramount plus

Another streaming series has bitten the dust but this time, believe it or not, it isn’t Netflix pulling the trigger. Instead, it’s Paramount+ that’s putting the axe to one of its longest running series. The dark dramedy anthology series Why Women Kill has been cancelled on Paramount+, just before its third season was about to start production.

Variety reported on Friday that Why Women Kill wouldn’t be moving forward on Paramount+, in spite a December announcement that the anthology series had been renewed for a third season. The streaming service has had little to say thus far on the reason behind the cancellation. A spokesperson told Variety only that “Paramount+ has made the difficult decision not to move forward with Season 3 of Why Women Kill.”

why women kill paramount+
Ginnifer Goodwin, Lucy Liu, and Kirby Howell-Baptiste in Why Women Kill

The decision to stop the production of Why Women Kill at Paramount+ is a curious one and, while it’s purely speculation, it’s difficult to imagine it transpiring without some as of yet unrevealed behind=the-scenes complication. Evidenced by its 76% critics score on Rotten Tomatoes and its even better audience score of 91%, the series is well regarded by reviewers and adored by its fans. That’s reflected in Paramount+’s words, who — upon announcing its third season renewal in December — claimed that season 2 of Why Women Kill ranked in Paramount+’s top 10 “in terms of both overall engagement and new subscriber acquisition.” That would seem like the last kind of series you would want to lose.

If there is no behind-the-scenes drama to blame for the Why Women Kill cancellation at Paramount+, it’s possible the streaming service is choosing to focus more on its franchise programming. Just taking a gander at the platform’s current top 10 series list as reported by Flix Patrol, and most of the scripted shows found there — Star Trek: Strange New Worlds, Star Trek: Discovery, Criminal Minds, NCIS, and 1883 — are all part of Paramount’s growing list of franchises. Meanwhile many of its upcoming projects are either parts of large franchises or have obvious franchise potential.

Why Women Kill premiered on Paramount+ before that was even its name. It began streaming when the fledgling platform was still called CBS All Access. The first season followed three different women from different time periods who all lived in the same mansion. Ginnifer Goodwin (Big Love) played the early sixties housewife Beth Ann, who snaps when she learns her husband is cheating on her. The story of Lucy Liu’s (Kill Bill: Vol. 1) Simone unfolds in the eighties, when she learns her husband has been concealing his homosexuality from her. Kirby Howell-Baptiste (Barry) stars as attorney Taylor in 2019, who is playing tug-of-war with her husband over the lovely Jade (Alexandra Daddario).

The anthology series was created by Marc Cherry, who is also known for creating the popular long-running mystery dramedy Desperate Housewives. There’s no word on whether or not Why Women Kill may try to find a home outside Paramount+.