Julie and the Phantoms, a musical-comedy from Netflix that premiered in the fall of 2020, has not been picked up for a second season by the streaming platform. The show about a young musician, Julie, who accidentally summons the spirits of a deceased boyband from the 90s, was generally met with positive reviews and picked up quite a following. The director of the series, Kenny Ortega, confirmed the news via Instagram earlier today.
Ortega is perhaps best known as the mind behind multiple modern musical films such as Hocus Pocus, High School Musical, and the iconic choreography from Dirty Dancing. Julie and the Phantoms was a particularly special project to Ortega, as is evident in his emotional post about the cancellation of the show. The show starred Madison Reyes as Julie, a high schooler who loves music but struggles to express herself after the death of her mother. After inadvertently summoning the ghosts of a boyband from 1995 called Sunset Curve (Charlie Gillespie, Owen Joyner, Jeremy Shada), Julie’s passion for music is reignited and she becomes the lead singer for the newly formed band The Phantoms. Also in the cast were Cheyenne Jackson and Booboo Stewart, both of whom worked with Ortega on Disney‘s Descendents franchise.
Julie and the Phantoms was part of the multi-year deal that Ortega has with Netflix. It was based on a Brazilian television show entitled Julie e os Fantasmas, which also only had one season. Despite its seemingly silly premise, the show was met with critical acclaim, including multiple Daytime Emmy wins in 2021. Julie and the Phantoms also garnered quite the cult following, and with the show’s renewal in limbo for so long some fans began a campaign to save the program. Under most of Netflix‘s Instagram posts from the last year, you will see hundreds of comments begging them to save the show with the hashtag #savejulieandthephantoms.
Season 1 of Julie and the Phantoms ended on not just one but two major cliffhangers that showrunners Dan Cross and David Hoge were excited to address in a possible second season. Addressing the cliffhanger, Cross told Collider “The honest answer is that everybody wants more. Everybody fell in love with the characters” and hinted that they already had an idea of where the second season would have gone. While there is potential for another streaming service to pick up the series, like the Roku Channel did with the other popular musical-comedy Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist, many fans are heartbroken to hear about the end of the series.
You can check out Ortega‘s heartfelt announcement below.