In 2013, when Netflix released their first original series House of Cards, the future of their broadcasting had been laid out by Netflix, but there were skeptics. How could its subscription model sustain the longevity needed to make shows successful? Could it compete with networks who've been around for decades? As of August 2017, Netflix has over 120 TV series and films, which indicates it aren't afraid to try something new or unique.
Hardcore fans react to a show's cancelation emotionally, so any reason given seems stupid. To Netflix or its producing partners, the reasons - especially budgetary - are legitimate and provide a foundation for us to accept the show's end or move on to another series. The positive aspect Netflix does bring to its decision to cancel shows is the tendency to provide actual conclusions, like with Bloodline and Sense8.
Netflix doesn't release its viewer numbers, which makes it hard to judge a show's popularity. Unless we get a direct quote from Netflix on why a series was canceled, you must rely on critic and fan reviews, ratings from sites like Rotten Tomatoes, IMDB, and Metacritic, and statements from the show's creators, writers, producers, or stars. And even then, it's up for interpretation.
So as you read some of the reasons in the list for the canceled shows and why a few other shows need to go, ask yourself if it's time for Netflix to be more cautious, rather than releasing shows to see what sticks? Here's 10 Netflix Shows Canceled For Stupid Reason (And 5 That Need To Go).
15 Canceled - Sense8
Sense8 was a science fiction drama show that ended after two seasons and one Christmas special. Of all the shows Netflix has canceled so far, Sense8's cancelation surprised fans and the industry. There had been no indication this show was on the bubble or hurting for viewership. Ted Sarandos, Netflix's Chief Content Officer, stated the audience was passionate, but not large enough to support the economics of something that big.
There's still hope. Recently, the Vice President of xHamster, a adult website, wrote the creators of Sense8 proposing a revival with xHamster funding and producing the show's season 3. Netflix is planning to air a series finale in 2018, but it's possible fans will get more story before that happens.
14 Canceled - Longmire
A&E took Longmire to season three before Netflix heard the cries of hardcore fans and quickly picked up the show. There have been two additional seasons, with one final season six to conclude the series.
One of the main reasons A&E canceled the show was due to a dip in viewers from season two to three. Netflix's viewership is difficult to gauge, but other factors like cost, ratings, and viewer reaction often can give you more tangible information. Longmire is a niche show, catering to an older but devoted crowd, due to the Western, cowboy-procedural style of the series.
Unlike many canceled shows, fans of Longmire can at least enjoy a series finale with a definite conclusion.
13 Needs To Go - House of Cards
One of the first series of original programming for Netflix, House of Cards has racked up over 30 Emmy nominations since it first aired in February 2013. It's known for deep, but connected plotlines, a chilling and creative portrayal of the political system, and Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright's intense acting.
But after a while, as you get to know the characters, nothing they do will surprise you the way it did in seasons one and two. This makes the show monotonous as the episodes and seasons continue. Early in the seasons, the show gave viewers a rich and diverse set of characters to follow, but later in the show, the focus has been more on Frank and Claire Underwood.
Netflix released season five of House of Cards in May, and the show is expected to roll into a season six, though as of August 2017, nothing is certain yet.
12 Canceled - Lilyhammer
Offered as exclusive content rather than original programming, Lilyhammer enjoyed three seasons before being canceled. This Norwegian gangster-starting-a-new-life series was delayed because of product placement issues (Norwegian laws prohibit product placement), but eventually aired in association with Netflix.
Netflix produced the show with a Norwegian company and became the exclusive distributor and broadcaster for the U.S. market. After the third season, Netflix pulled out of the show, stating "economic challenges." A Tweet from the star, Stevie Van Zandt, informed us, "Let's just say for now the business got too complicated."
The series was shot in multiple locations in Norway and New York City, which was potentially one reason the show became costlier as it went on. The creators of the show have not given up and are hopeful another production company will continue the series.
11 Canceled - Hemlock Grove
For a show that Netflix claimed was viewed by more members worldwide in its first weekend than House of Cards, Hemlock Grove should have had a longer run, right? It was renewed for a third season, but Netflix stated the third season would be the last one and would conclude the series.
This show is an odd one where the cancelation is based on theories, instinct, and gut-feelings. Netflix or Brian McGreevy (the creator) never released an absolute reason, but you may not have to look far in terms of numbers outside of Netflix. The scores consistently remained low and reviews for Hemlock Grove ranged from "messy" to the show being too much of a soap opera to taking itself too seriously considering the subject matter (werewolves).
Two fixable reasons viewers have theorized for the series cancelation are low social media numbers and the disjointed and hard-to-follow writing. Perhaps if more care was given to those, Hemlock Grove would still be around.
10 Needs To Go - Wet Hot American Summer (series)
Wet Hot American Summer started as a comedy film in 2001 spoofing sex comedies geared towards the teenage crowd. The film had many actors and actresses that turned out to be bigger stars after the movie, like Elizabeth Banks, Paul Rudd, and Amy Poehler.
In 2015, much of cast reprised their roles for the Netflix prequel series, Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp and the series sequel, Wet Hot American Summer: Ten Years Later. Both series have additional well-known stars, and along with the film, has created a massive cult following. Grabbing new viewers is problematic for a show like this, and without them, Wet Hot American Summer probably won't last long.
It's automatic the cult fans will migrate over, but if you don't understand the parody or jokes or campy plotlines, this Netflix series will not appeal to many, despite the star power.
9 Canceled - Marco Polo
Leading up to the season one premiere, Marco Polo gathered plenty of attention. Initially, this series about the Venetian explorer Marco Polo received decent viewership according to Netflix, but without actual numbers, it's hard to know how many actually streamed the show. While the show gained fans, critics were harsher, calling it a "sloppy mess," and season two barely made the entertainment radar before premiering.
However, it's notable Netflix underestimated the budget a period series like this would take. Netflix gave season one $90 million dollars, but it ended up costing much more. It's reported that the streaming service lost over $200 million dollars on Marco Polo for season one. While losing money is not a stupid reason to cancel a show, poor planning is, as it punishes fans who were devout to the show.
8 Canceled - Crazyhead
Crazyhead is horror-comedy series about two women who want to make it through their early twenties, but find they also need to fight demons. The show went six episodes and even won some technical and acting West of England awards, but in July 2017, it was announced the series would not continue with a second season.
It's curious that it wasn't Netflix who canceled the series, but E4, which is the company that makes the show. Howard Overman, the creator, told the media that he'd been working on storylines for series two and the cast has been optioned for about three years.
Crazyhead had good reviews and praise for its acting and humor, so it seemed everything was in place for additional seasons.
7 Needs To Go - Friends from College
Friends from College premiered in July 2017, but has already hit a few snags in terms of ratings and popularity. The show centers around a group of Harvard alumni as they maneuver their ambitious, struggling, and romantic lives in New York City. The series contains veterans of sitcoms and comedy such as Keegan-Michael Key, Cobie Smulders, and Fred Savage, but many complain the writing of the show wastes the talents of these stars as well as the experience the other three actors and actresses bring. Showrunner Nicholas Stoller made the hit comedy series Neighbors, but something just didn't add up here.
Despite reviews and scores on entertainment websites like Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic being on the low side, Friends from College was already renewed for a second season. Why?!
6 Canceled - Bloodline
Sometimes reasons outside a show's control can cause a cancelation, no matter how stupid that reason is perceived. Bloodline is a series created between Sony Pictures and Netflix, and has received Emmy nominations for acting and praise from critics for the cinematography.
The cost of producing the show was a major factor in deciding to conclude Bloodline with the third season. The series was shot in Florida, and the state was like another character. Locations were crucial to Bloodline, giving the show additional charisma.
For the first two seasons, the show received tax incentives for shooting in Florida, which made producing Bloodline significantly cheaper than without them. But Florida decided to discontinue the incentives, which made the show vastly more expensive to film for future seasons.
This is especially disappointing because the creators of the show had planned six seasons when they pitched the show to Netflix.
5 Canceled - Girlboss
Based on businesswoman Sophia Amoruso's autobiography #Girlboss, the show Girlboss stars Britt Robertson as Sophia and relates the story of how the Nasty Girl company started. Unfortunately, Girlboss was canceled after one season of thirteen episodes in July 2017 and is the first comedy series from Netflix not to get a season two.
From the get-go, Girlboss was panned, mainly due to the unlikeable main character. Since the main character was based on a real person, and the story surrounds an actual business that failed in real life, it possible the shows poor ratings on Rotten Tomatoes and other websites were due to the fact viewers knew what to expect and wanted to invest their time into something different.
4 Needs To Go - Fuller House
For eight seasons in the '80s and '90s, Full House consistently ranked high with viewers for its campy humor, charm, and sweetness. Netflix revived the show and created Fuller House, which follows the Tanner daughters later in life with their own families and jobs.
Just like its predecessor, Fuller House has received bad reviews and ratings, but is insanely popular with viewers. Nostalgia easily plays a part in its popularity, but outside of that, Fuller House doesn't have much to offer.
After the initial nostalgia wears off, the show tries too hard to be funny with jokes that reference Full House, is overly sappy with romance, and attempts to inject new characters that are essentially rehashed original characters. Not even cameos by Bob Saget, John Stamos, and Dave Coulier can help raise the show's likeability.
3 Canceled - Gypsy
Another recent show canceled after one season, Gypsy was a psychological thriller that starred Naomi Watts as a therapist who becomes obsessed with the lives of her patients. It premiered in June with ten episodes, but never gained the response Netflix had hoped. Some reviews have stated the first episode was hard to understand, but others have put the blame on Netflix for not marketing Gypsy better.
It's not obvious why Gypsy was canceled despite the creators and writers already working on a second season for four weeks up until the announcement, assuming they'd be renewed. Besides low ratings and bad reviews, it's conceivable that Netflix didn't want to have two shows with similar atmospheres, so they decided to renew the better-received Ozark, which was renewed less than a month after its premiere.
2 Canceled - The Get Down
The Get Down follows a group of New York City youth in 1977 as they dance, spit rhymes, and use graffiti to make hip-hop and disco music more mainstream. This series is the first TV series from Baz Luhrmann and was released in sixteen episodes in two parts (eleven episodes, then five). Netflix canceled the show in May 2017.
The series was expensive to shoot, which played a major part in its cancelation, but another reason surfaced when Baz Luhrmann posted to his Facebook page for the fans of the show. He cited his lack of availability as something that helped facilitate Netflix's decision. It's not clear if someone else was capable or qualified to take over as many fans enjoyed the music and acting of The Get Down.
1 Needs To Go - Iron Fist
Netflix and Marvel have partnered to bring comic fans outstanding superhero TV shows like Daredevil, Luke Cage, and Jessica Jones. The fourth series, Iron Fist, follows Danny Rand as he returns to New York City to take his family's company back. A threat looms, and he must decide between his family heritage and his Iron Fist legacy.
The series has received low ratings (currently 17% on Rotten Tomatoes) and reviews that state the show doesn't have the same momentum as the other Marvel/Netflix shows. Maybe it's because the show has been in development since 2001 (Ray Park was originally to star), or that Disney's Consumer Products have conflicting views on who to market to.
Critics and viewers agree Iron Fist is terrible, but the approved second season is a gamble and this series needs to go.
What Netflix shows do you think were canceled for stupid reasons? Or what Netflix shows do you feel need to go? Let us know in the comments!
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