Amazon Cancels Freshman Youth Drama After Only 1 Season

Amazon Prime Video canceled the young adult drama series Panic after just one season. The series was based on Lauren Oliver's novel of the same name and starred Olivia Welch as a high school graduate who participates in an annual competition that will help her and her friends escape a small Texas town. Oliver also created the series and wrote all 10 episodes of Season 1.

Welch's Heather Nill was one of 47 high school graduates who participated in the Panic competition at the center of the show. However, this year's competition sees the rules suddenly change, so Heather and other participants are left wondering if the $50,000 prize money is worth the new risks. Mike Faist, Jessica Sula, Ray Nicholson, Camron Jones, and Enrique Murciano also starred in the show.

Panic debuted on May 28. Amazon had high hopes for the project, even launching an accompanying three-part audio novella on Audible. Oliver wrote the project, titled Panic: Ghosts and Legends, and the show's cast voiced their characters. The novella was released the same day the series was. Unfortunately, the show did not earn a big audience like Amazon's hit The Wilds did. Panic also did not end with a cliffhanger, so fans got a satisfying ending. That also played a role in Amazon's decision not to order a second season, sources told Deadline.

While Panic did not work out, Amazon does have other YA projects in the works. The Wilds, about a group of teenage girls on a deserted island who are not aware they are in a social experiment, was a big enough hit in December 2020 that a second season was ordered. That show's ensemble cast includes Sophia Ali, Shannon Betty, Jenna Clause, Reign Edwards, Mia Healey, Helena Howard, Erana James, and Sarah Pidgeon. It was created by Sarah Streicher.

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Amazon is also developing a series based on I Know What You Did Last Summer targeted to YA audiences. In March, Sarah Michelle Gellar signed on to the YA pilot Hot Pink, a coming-of-age comedy created by Elisabeth Holm and based on Elena K. Arnold's book What Girls Are Made Of. Desiree Akhavan (The Miseducation of Cameron Post) is directing the Hot Pink pilot.