Marvel's Daredevil was still one of Netflix's most popular TV series in the week before its cancellation, according to a new report. The show is the third Marvel series that Netflix has canned in recent months (following Iron Fist and Luke Cage) and its cancellation was seemingly motivated by Disney's plans to launch its own streaming service, Disney+, sometime in Fall 2019.
Daredevil, of course, was part of Marvel and Netflix's original slate of TV series about street-level superheroes from the Marvel Cinematic Universe version of New York, along with Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Iron Fist, and The Defenders event miniseries. Netflix's The Punisher was later spun out of Daredevil season 2 and now finds itself (unexpectedly) the sole remaining Marvel show on the streaming service, along with Jessica Jones. Daredevil's cancellation in the aftermath of its acclaimed third season was as big a shock to the show's creatives as it was to the fans; even some of the series' writers have now admitted they thought Daredevil was simply "too big to fail".
The show's writers weren't wrong to feel that way, either. Deadline reports that Daredevil ranked fourth in viewer demand among Netflix Original series in the week before its cancellation, according to the latest numbers from Parrot Analytics. Since Netflix doesn't release viewership statistics, these estimates are based on measures like "desire, engagement and viewership" that give weighted value to the amount of "likes" that a show accumulates (as well as its actual total viewings). According to Parrot's numbers, only Narcos, The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, and Stranger Things ranked higher than Daredevil in these areas on Netflix over the same time frame.
As mentioned, it's believed that Disney+ may be the main culprit responsible for Daredevil, Iron Fist, and Luke Cage being cancelled. While Netflix was previously willing to cover the production cost on these series without owning the actual IPs, it's speculated that they decided to cut ties with Marvel TV in the wake of the Mouse House revealing its own competing streaming service to house all of its content (including, Marvel Studio movies and TV shows) in the future. It's even been rumored that Marvel cancelled Daredevil of its own accord, as a business decision to make sure the property didn't get left behind at Netflix (so to speak).
Either way you cut it, Daredevil is done at Netflix, and Jessica Jones and The Punisher are currently expected to be cancelled after their (respectively) third and second seasons premiere sometime next year. However, there is a silver lining for The Man Without Fear's supporters: Marvel's statement on Daredevil's cancellation specifically mentioned that the company "looks forward to more adventures" with Matt Murdock and friends. Whether that means the show's cast will return to their roles one day or their characters will eventually be rebooted, though, remains to be seen.
We will bring you more Daredevil-related news as it comes our way.