Scavengers Reign's Second Chance Reveals the One Problem Every Streaming Service Needs to Fix

The sci-fi series' struggles, unfortunately, aren't unique to it.

Azi in 'Scavengers Reign'

In October 2023, Max premiered the first season of Scavengers Reign. The series, a dark sci-fi adventure show about the crew of a cargo ship that crash land on an alien planet with no hope of being rescued, quickly became one of the most acclaimed new TV arrivals of the year. It was universally adored by everyone who watched it, and it's not hard to see why. Scavengers Reign announces itself early in its first season as one of the most distinct and beautifully realized pieces of sci-fi media in recent memory, and every one of its subsequent episodes delivers on the promise of those initial few chapters.

Nonetheless, Scavengers Reign was canceled earlier this year by Max, much to the dismay and disappointment of its fans. Netflix, to its credit, swooped in and picked up the series. The streaming service has offered Scavengers Reign another chance by giving its first season a new home and leaving the door open for a second if it performs well enough.

Whether Scavengers Reign earns more episodes in the eyes of Netflix's algorithm or not, however, the show's struggles shine a light on one of the most frustrating trends of our current streaming era.

Scavengers Reign is far too interesting and engaging to have been treated with such flippant disregard by its original streaming service.


While Scavengers Reign earned rave reviews, the show wasn't promoted heavily by Max. Despite ranking almost immediately as one of its year's best shows, Scavengers Reign never received the full support it deserved. The streaming service seemed content to promote it a little when it premiered and then leave it to sit unnoticed in its growing library of originals. This, unfortunately, is a strategy that has become all too common since Hollywood's streaming boom, especially for new, original animation like Scavengers Reign.

Over the past few years, Max has been slowly building out the animation side of its platform, but you'd be forgiven for not knowing that because the service has so far done a truly horrible job of promoting its animated originals. Memorable shows like Young Love, Tom and Jerry in New York, and even a Clone High revival all flew completely under the radar, while fans have had to fight tooth and nail to turn a series like Harley Quinn into a bona fide hit in order to keep it going. In 2022, Max even treated Owen Dennis' Infinity Train, the beloved series it acquired from Cartoon Network, with an insulting level of disregard when it removed it from its library and then from digital purchase platforms a year later.

Max, notably, isn't the only streaming service to put little effort into promoting its animated shows. Hulu has similarly failed to capitalize on the creativity and appeal of original series like Crossing Swords, M.O.D.O.K., and its Animaniacs revival, while Disney+ has offered very little support even for shows like The Bad Batch and Star Wars: Visions, despite both ranking firmly as two of Disney's highest quality Star Wars offerings. Generally speaking, Netflix tends to do a better job promoting its animated originals than its competitors, but even it has let memorable and distinct titles like Hilda, Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts, The Midnight Gospel, and Carol and the End of the World come and go with little-to-no fanfare.

If you've never heard of any of those shows before, don't feel bad. While some of them, like Kipo and Hilda, ran for multiple seasons on Netflix, they were never promoted as the standout, well-realized originals that they deserved to be treated as. Even this writer only became aware of their existence and quality over the course of the past year.

We’re living in a new Golden Age of TV Animation, and it’s about time that Hollywood’s biggest streaming services realized that.


There are, of course, exceptions to every rule. In recent years, animated shows like Arcane, X-Men '97, Invincible, Bojack Horseman, and Blue Eye Samurai have not only all emerged as genuine modern-day TV hits, they've also been treated like blockbuster titles by their respective streaming platforms. But for every new animated TV show that comes along and receives the support it deserves, there are five or ten that don't. Scavengers Reign is, perhaps, the best example of this.

On a streaming service that has gone out of its way to market a forgettable animated offering like Velma, Scavengers Reign was left to be quietly forgotten. Hopefully, its new place on Netflix will prevent that from happening. Either way, Max, Netflix, Hulu, and every other streaming platform that's around right now should seriously consider reevaluating their approach to their animated divisions if they want to stop more artistic, acclaimed shows like Scavengers Reign from falling by the wayside.

Scavengers Reign Season 1 is streaming now on Netflix.

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