Movies & Television

Why was Young Justice Season 5 Cancelled on HBO Max?

It will come as no surprise to DC fans that yet another project has recently been axed from HBO’s lineup, during what is being described as a very unstable time within Warner Bros. Discovery and the DCEU. We explain why the animated series Young Justice was recently cancelled by the platform.

Unrest within Warner Bros. Discovery and its streaming platform HBO Max surfaced when the unexpected cancellation of the anticipated Batgirl movie was enforced.

Developed by Brandon Vietti and Greg Weisman and distributed by Warner Bros. Domestic Television, Young Justice is an American animated series following an original story set in the DC Universe, despite carrying the same title as Peter David, Todd Dezago, and Todd Nauck’s Young Justice comic series.

Young Justice: Phantoms | Mid-Season Trailer | HBO Max

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Young Justice: Phantoms | Mid-Season Trailer | HBO Max
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Young Justice Cancelled by HBO

An insider report from TV Line confirmed back in August that Young Justice would not be continuing into Season 5 on HBO Max, as the platform had only ordered one season.

The animation has been rather resilient in the past, but Warner Bros. Discovery’s latest creative change has also put a stop to its return. 

Season 4, subtitled Phantoms, premiered on October 16, 2021, and recently completed its run on June 9, 2022.

The animated series previously debuted on Cartoon Network and Teletoon in Canada before being canceled in early 2013. The series then bounced back with a third season and aired on DC Universe before its move to HBO Max for its Season 4 renewal.

Young Justice – Cr. DC, YouTube

Why was Young Justice Season 5 Cancelled?

Many DC fans thought Young Justice was in safe hands with HBO Max, where it joined a handful of other popular animated projects, however, Warner Bros. Discovery’s recent turn away from kids and family content explains why the show was not renewed for Season 5.

The trend recently saw the removal of kids programs, including Little Ellen and Seasame Street, from the HBO Max catalog, alongside the removal of staffers from the kids and family department.

A spokesperson from HBO Max said the following statement regarding the removal of kids and family media, which appeared to include animation as well, as reported by Variety:

“Live-action kids and family programming will not be part of our programming focus in the immediate future.”

Young Justice is among seven other animated shows that were recently canceled, including Batman: Caped Crusader.

Inverse also reported recently that animators working on the canceled projects were “clueless” and “confused”, with Ian Jones-Quartey explaining:

“We’re still just not sure why some things were taken off and other things weren’t. The whole thing is just very confusing, and there hasn’t been much outreach to anybody.”

DC Fans React to the Animation’s Axe

Understandably, DC fans are rather saddened by the news that Young Justice has received its second cancellation.

A number of viewers commented before the axe that they were worried the show would be canceled before villain Darkseid had his time to shine.

Another fan stated that seeing the animation get cancelled twice in one lifetime is “not what I wanted.”

By Jo Craig – [email protected]

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Jo Craig
@shingeekyjo

Being a pop culture writer and a proud geek of all trades, Jo loves to dissect fandoms and marvel at their insides. The entirety of The Lord of the Rings, superhero origins, the Ghost of Tsushima score, the Wings of Freedom, and the endless search for a sleepy Tyranitar are but a few of Jo's passions, with a penchant for contributing to the geek culture community.

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