Peacock has canceled the sequel to Punky Brewster after just one season. Deadline reports that the NBCUniversal streamer has opted out of continuing the series with a second season. The continuation of the classic 1984 sitcom starring Soleil Moon Frye as the titular Punky was one of the streaming services first announced original series, alongside the reboot of Saved By The Bell, Rutherford Falls, and Girls5Eva, all of which have been renewed. The reboot premiered on Peacock in February and brought back much of the original cast.
"Punky Brewster was a beloved series that tackled meaningful storylines with so much heart," said Lisa Katz, President, Scripted, NBCUniversal Television and Streaming, about the decision. "It was a bright light for so many viewers and we are forever grateful to Universal Studio Group, the producers, the cast and crew, and especially to Soleil Moon Frye for reigniting the Punky Power within everyone."
In the reboot, Punky was a single mother of three working to get her life back on track following her split from her ex (Freddie Prinze Jr.), and coming face-to-face with Izzy (Quinn Copeland), a young girl in the foster system who reminds Punky a lot of her childhood self. Cherie (Cherie Johnson), who works in social services, is there to help her friend through the tough times while also exploring her relationship with girlfriend Lauren (Jasika Nicole), a "brilliant, strong" attorney.
Johnson spoke to PopCulture.com ahead of the premiere, calling it "the most amazing experience ever." Being Cherie was such a natural feeling for Johnson, especially because Frye is her real lifelong friend. "I've known her as long as I've known myself," she explained. "And so to be able to sit down sit on the couch and have conversations with her ... it's not like being at work and portraying a character. It's like letting you guys in on our life."
"I think as Cherie has grown and gone through her journey that Punky has been with her every step of the way," Johnson said of aging Cherie up in the reboot. "So to be able to introduce you guys to my girlfriend, Jasika Nicole, is amazing." The relationship between the two is that of a "power couple" which a great example of "girl power" and "Black love," Johnson shared. "We really love each other too," she said of how Punky Brewster comes alive on screen both in 1985 and 2021. "Not only are we a family on camera but we're family off-camera. I think you can tell when you feel those relationships and the bond is undeniable." It's a shame that that bond won't be explored in a second season.