Since its release, Netflix Original Sense8 has been polarizingly successful. Some people who have seen it absolutely love it, while others simply cannot understand what the others see in the series. Either way a lot of people have watched the visually spectacular series. After waiting for over a year, the second season was finally released recently, along with an announcement from Netflix: there would be no further episodes coming.
As it turns out, Sense8 is incredibly expensive to produce, costing double per episode what HBO pays to produce an episode of Game of Thrones. Netflix decided that the ratings did not justify the cost of the series, and canceled it after season 2. Unfortunately, as traditional television networks do, the decision was made after the season was produced, meaning that the creators could not put an end to the story. This did not sit well with producers or with fans.
As with anything that even slightly inconveniences the internet, an online petition was created. But, unlike normally, this petition accomplished something, in the form of a special episode. The 2 hour episode, which will premiere in 2018, does not have an official release date or story determined, but that is to be expected. It is likely that more information will be released as the time gets closer, and as decisions are made. Those decisions will include what to do with the series following the special, which, according to the Twitter post (linked below), suggests that maybe something additional can be accomplished, but don't hold your breath.
I would expect that this 2-hour special will serve as a series finale to wrap up the loose strings and bring closure to fans. This kind of treatment from Netflix is something that network television has never been interested in doing, because appointment television has always been thought of as watch and move on. Streaming has created a permanent nature to programs like Sense8, and a story closure brings additional value to the series for Netflix, who will keep the series on their service in perpetuity. New viewers who know the story is left hanging may be reluctant to give it a shot, while having an ending is likely to make people consider watching.