'The Right Stuff' Canceled at Disney+, But the Series May Find a New Home

The Right Stuff was the second original series to debut on Disney+ after The Mandalorian. Unfortunately, the series about the early days of the United States space program and the first team of astronauts known as the Mercury 7 appears to have run its course, because Disney+ has canceled the series after just one season. However, there’s still hope for the series to continue because Warner Bros. Television is shopping the project to other outlets.

Loosely based on the 1979 book of the same name by Tom Wolfe and the 1983 film adaptation that follows, The Right Stuff was the first original series produced by National Geographic for the streaming service. Here’s the trailer and the official synopsis:

At the center of The Right Stuff was Major John Glenn (Patrick J. Adams), a revered Marine test pilot and committed family man, and Lieutenant Commander Alan Shepard (Jake McDorman), one of the best test pilots in Navy history. The series also focused on Mercury 7 crew members like Captain Gordo Cooper (Colin O’Donoghue), the youngest of the seven selected; Wally Schirra (Aaron Staton), a competitive pilot with a gift for pulling pranks; Scott Carpenter (James Lafferty), dubbed “The Poet” by his fellow astronauts; Deke Slayto (Micah Stock), a quiet but incredibly intelligent pilot and engineer; and Gus Grissom, (Michael Trotter), a decorated military veteran who eventually becomes the second man in space.

As the history books tell us, there’s still plenty of story to tell about the developing space program, but Disney+ has opted not to renew the series for a second season. That’s a reversal from Disney+’s original plans in November last year, which would have given the series $13.7 million to move production from Florida to California for a second season. But despite getting the offered the fourth-highest relocating incentive ever awarded under the California Film Commission program, the second season isn’t happening at Disney+.

Now Warner Bros. Television is looking at potential new homes like TNT and HBO Max. The studio recently sought an extension of the options on the cast to return for a second season so they can figure out if the series can continue elsewhere. What’s not clear is what the direction of the series would take. Apparently negotiations with Disney+ included a potential new direction for the show with a focus on a space mission from the 1980s with a completely new cast, making The Right Stuff into an anthology series of sorts. It’s not clear if that would be the plan at a new streaming home.

Though The Right Stuff received solid reviews, the show never broke into Nielsen’s Top 10 streaming ratings. Since this is show business we’re talking about, if the audience isn’t tuning in enough to make the series worth producing, then cuts have to be made. Is there enough of an audience for it to be more lucrative for another streaming service? That remains to be seen.

The Right Stuff is executive produced by Mark Lafferty (Halt and Catch Fire, Castle Rock), who also acts as showrunner. Jennifer Davisson and Leonardo DiCaprio also executive produce through their Appian Way production banner along with Will Staples (Animals), Danny Strong (Empire), Howard Korder (Boardwalk Empire), and Chris Long (The Americans), who also directs the first episode. Martins Scorsese’s longtime editor Thelma Schoonmaker also acts as a consulting producer, and Michael Hampton oversaw production for Appian Way as a co-producer.

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