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Amazon's 'Bullsh*t' Reason for Canceling A League of Their Own Sends a Clear Message

Fans would have waited for more of the beloved series, no matter how long it took.
  • Roberta Colindrez, Kate Berlant, Abbi Jacobson, D'Arcy Carden, Melanie Field, and Molly Ephraim in A League of Their Own (Photo: Prime Video)
    Roberta Colindrez, Kate Berlant, Abbi Jacobson, D'Arcy Carden, Melanie Field, and Molly Ephraim in A League of Their Own (Photo: Prime Video)

    Following the untimely cancellation of her series A League of Their Own, Abbi Jacobson took to Instagram with some words for Amazon Studios: “To blame this cancellation on the strike, (which is an essential fight for fair wages, protections and working conditions, etc…) is bullsh*t and cowardly.”

    Jacobson, who created the series with Will Graham, quickly shifted focus to praise the cast and crew for creating this “special show.” But even in her brief criticism, she has a point. According to Variety, Amazon reps cited the ongoing strikes as the reason for production delays, which would likely move the premiere of the series to 2025. It’s disingenuous to blame anything on the strike when the AMPTP is the organization refusing to end the labor action by returning to the bargaining table and offering the Writers Guild of America and SAG-AFTRA a fair contract. But it’s also, to borrow a word from Jacobson, bullsh*t to assume that fans of the show wouldn’t return to watch another season of the show three years later.

    “You could give me another season of a league of their own 10 years from now and I wouldn’t care,” Buzzfeed TV editor Nora Dominick tweeted. It’s a sentiment shared by many on social media — just look at the #ALeagueofTheirOwn and #SaveALOTO hashtags.

    It certainly wouldn’t be the first time audiences were tasked with waiting several years between seasons, and there’s even precedence for these long gaps on Prime Video. Good Omens Season 2, which premiered on the streamer in July, dropped four years after the first season. Three years passed between Fleabag and Undone’s respective first and second seasons, and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel’s third and fourth seasons. Even without considering the release schedules of other streamers (and the recent uptick in reboots and revivals coming a decade or more after their original series), Amazon has evidence that viewers will come back to watch their favorite shows, no matter how much time has passed.

    The continued popularity of the 1992 movie on which A League of Their Own is based also proves the franchise’s staying power. It’s been more than 30 years since Penny Marshall’s film debuted, but its legacy lives on in pop culture — everyone knows there's no crying baseball. If the series could harness the success of the film decades later, then a few years in between seasons certainly wouldn’t slow down the momentum too much. And it’s not like the series has the same restrictions as, say, Stranger Things, in which production and the storytelling must accommodate teenagers who are rapidly growing into adults.

    According to The Hollywood Reporter, Sony Pictures Television, the studio that produces the show, is shopping the series around. There’s still hope that, like Minx, Three Women, and other recently canceled shows, it will also find new life on a different network or streamer.

    There’s more to the loss of A League of Their Own than just having one less heartfelt, funny, reliably entertaining series out there (though there’s a lot to be said for that as well). The series highlighted marginalized groups that are still sorely lacking representation in the industry: queer women, Black women, and trans men.

    When a studio cancels a show like this for a reason as silly as “it will take too long for the next season to premiere,” especially when it has afforded other shows the same hiatus, it sends a clear message about what its priorities are and which stories it deems worthy of telling. There are many fans of A League of Their Own who are ready to wait as long as it takes for a second season because they’ve already spent their entire lives waiting to see themselves on screen. One of the original Rockford Peaches, Maybelle Blair, didn’t get to see her story accurately told on TV until she was 95 — she publicly came out at the series’s premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival, and credits Graham and Jacobson’s adaptation for giving her the platform to do so. Compared to that, three years is nothing.

    A League of Their Own Season 1 is streaming on Prime Video. Join the discussion about the show in our forums.

    Brianna Wellen is a TV Reporter at Primetimer who became obsessed with television when her parents let her stay up late to watch E.R. 

    TOPICS: A League of Their Own, Amazon Prime Video, Abbi Jacobson, Will Graham, Amazon Studios, TV Actors' Strike, TV Writers' Strike