The action-crime series “Queen of the South” was cancelled by USA Network after five successful seasons, making the announcement prior to the premiere of the final season in April 2021. The fifth season was not the intended conclusion of the show, and the storyline didn’t seem to have any immediate intentions to terminate. Fans of the programme were stunned to hear that it was being cancelled, especially since “Queen of the South” routinely topped Netflix’s list of trending shows when seasons were made available on the service after airing on television.
Following Teresa Mendoza (Alice Braga), a poor lady who flees to America when her boyfriend, a member of a drug cartel, is killed, “Queen of the South” was adapted from the book of the same name. As the drug ring pursues her, Teresa eventually creates her own drug empire and rises to become one of the richest women in the world, but she does it with a permanent target on her back. Alice Braga became a star as a result of the programme, and “Queen of the South” became one of the few primetime network dramas featuring a Latina leading the cast.
While there have been plenty of white female leaders in television programmes like “Weeds,” “Good Girls,” or “Sons of Anarchy,” Latinas are frequently represented as second spouses, sex workers, drug mules, mistresses, or just another body. In addition to highlighting the risks associated with the drug trade, “Queen of the South” draws attention to misogynistic power systems that pervade all walks of life, including the world of organised crime. Because Teresa Mendoza’s character was so unlike anything else previously seen in the “drug drama” environment, saying goodbye to the show wasn’t simple. Then why was the programme cancelled?
Dropped Ratings and a Network Makeover Inspired the Cancellation
The fourth season of “Queen of the South” purportedly saw a significant decline in viewers of roughly 20 percent, despite the show still being the most-watched drama on the network. The USA Network has never publicly acknowledged this information. The network’s suspicion that interest in the series was dwindling was likely confirmed by Season 5’s even greater decline. Ratings were undoubtedly a major factor in the show’s demise, but the more likely offender is the USA Network’s shifting programming priorities.
Only a small number of original dramas produced by USA Network are still in production, with “Queen of the South” sharing the same demise as “Dare Me,” “The Purge,” “Mr. Robot,” “Suits,” “Pearson,” and “Briarpatch.” In addition to signing up off-network runs of shows like Ryan Murphy’s “9-1-1” and joint productions with networks like Syfy for “Chucky” and “Resident Alien,” USA Network appears to be increasingly interested in producing reality television. It’s difficult to see this as anything other than the final death knell for a once-loved cable network, but given that NBCUniversal, the parent company of USA, is prioritising new original programming on Peacock rather than NBC, the cancellation of “Queen of the South” could be a sign of things to come.
Netflix now has all five seasons of “Queen of the South” accessible for viewing.