For those still mourning the Friday Night Lights-sized gap in their TV lineup, Netflix's Last Chance U offers a real-world stand-in. The docuseries, which premiered last summer, chronicles the football program at East Mississippi Community College (EMCC), a pressure cooker for athletic talent where players vie for a second shot at major college programs, and eventually, the NFL. Its eight-part second season arrived July 21, but will that be the end of the road, or is there a Season 3 of Last Chance U?
As of yet, there's no official word on whether or not the show will continue, and frankly, the odds are hard to predict. In the past, Netflix has been generous with its renewals for original efforts, giving even its less popular projects several attempts before finally blowing the whistle. But CEO Reed Hastings announced in June that the company was looking to start paring down its streaming slate, and the subsequent months have seen cancellations for arguably less buzzy but still beloved series like The Get Down, Sense8, and Girlboss.
Since Netflix doesn't release ratings for its shows, it's difficult to tell where Last Chance U stands. It hasn't been heavily covered in the press, and when it has, it's largely been limited to sports-specific sites like SBNation and ESPN's The Undefeated rather than more mainstream entertainment outlets — which makes sense, given its content, though it doesn't bode well for its crossover appeal.
Still, those that have covered Last Chance U have given it rave reviews, praising its ability to capture raw, intimate moments of the men that land at EMCC and the employees that shape it. And story wise, it sounds like there's still plenty to dig into. According to For The Win, USA Today's sports vertical, five of Season 2's six main characters are new, meaning the narrative has room to shift to new perspectives without losing its focus. Plus, the season addresses academic adviser Brittany Wagner's public exit from EMCC, leaving room to explore how the school has coped with her departure.
Nonetheless, Netflix's programming decisions aren't as predictable as they may have once seemed, and even with solid critical backing, Last Chance U's fate is uncertain as ever. Fortunately for fans, it took less than a month for Netflix to confirm a Season 2 renewal, so the wait for an answer shouldn't be long, and possibly, Last Chance U will get a third run on the field.