Netflix shows didn’t used to get canned. The streaming service used to be able to save face by citing creative reasons. The fact that they don’t release any of their viewing figures means they never have to admit to a show having low ratings.
But that was before they overshot their reach. Subscription prices have been getting higher and higher due to their reckless spending. They spent $90 million on Bright, a movie no one likes or remembers, and the budget of their Martin Scorsese/Robert De Niro gangster movie The Irishman has ballooned to an absurd $200 million. They spent $105 million on the rights to release it in the first place. That’s like a third of a billion dollars – that’s more than it costs to make an Avengers movie.
So, to cut costs, Netflix is finally accepting that some of their hundreds of original series aren’t perfect, and some of them don’t have a huge viewership. Netflix is canceling more shows in 2019 than they ever have before. We can pretty much guess the ones that haven’t been announced yet, based on the press they’re getting. So, without further ado, here are 6 Netflix Shows Ending In 2019 (And 14 Possibilities).
20 Possible: 13 Reasons Why
Perhaps 13 Reasons Why’s storm of controversy will finally get the better of it in its third season. The popular high school series has been widely criticized for its problematic depiction of mental health issues, as well as its gratuitous use of violence for entertainment. A lot of viewers who enjoyed the first season were turned off by how graphic season 2 was – particularly that truly disgusting mop scene – and may not return to watch season 3. So, while there will be a third season of the show, which has already been announced and begun production, there may not be a fourth after it.
19 Ending: Friends From College
Despite having a terrific cast anchored by Keegan-Michael Key and Cobie Smulders, Friends from College has been slated by critics and audiences alike for its agonizingly unlikable and unpleasant characters. The recently released second season was a slight improvement, but viewers who abandoned the show after its terrible first season will likely never discover this, since they’ve sworn off the show. This combination of low viewership, negative reception, and generally poor quality is what led Netflix to cancel the series after two seasons. It’s unlikely that anyone will miss it, but maybe there’s a small cult audience out there that is devastated by the cancellation.
18 Possible: Altered Carbon
This hyper-violent cyberpunk series is way too expensive and appeals to too niche an audience for it to go on much longer. The first season reportedly had a “bigger budget than the first three seasons of Game of Thrones,” which would place it well over $200 million. That’s not a sustainable amount, especially when audiences expect subsequent seasons to go bigger and better as a series goes on. Plus, with behind-the-scenes troubles like lead actor Joel Kinnaman being replaced by Anthony Mackie and the episode count being cut down, the future doesn’t look bright for Altered Carbon. It’s a shame, because it had so much potential – it just didn’t live up to it.
17 Possible: Santa Clarita Diet
This unusual horror comedy series has always clung to its renewals by a thread. It has a dedicated fan base, but not a huge one. Plus, its excessive gore and very graphic violence paired with its zany sense of humor make it a difficult pill to swallow. So, it’s always struggled to find viewers. The viewers are there, but there aren’t many of them. Season 3 is set to premiere in March, but there are no further plans after that. Netflix sometimes renews shows for more than one season at a time, but it judges Santa Clarita Diet on a season-by-season basis. This could be the end for Sheila and Joel. It would be a shame, because the show is fantastic.
16 Ending: Orange Is The New Black
The long-running, wildly popular prison dramedy will premiere its seventh and final season later this year. Of course, as soon as Netflix announced this, there were a thousand and one news headlines with puns about the show’s prison sentence coming to an end. This is one of those happy stories about shows ending, where the series was so popular that the creators got to decide when it was the right time to end it and they could do a proper finale to wrap up their characters’ journeys and tie up loose ends. There was no way Netflix would cancel this one before its natural conclusion, because they’ve repeatedly reported that it’s their most-watched original series.
15 Possible: Mindhunter
David Fincher and Charlize Theron’s serial killer thriller Mindhunter has been renewed for a second season, but it could also be its last. While the show’s combination of slick visuals and gross material make it gorgeous and enthralling, it also makes it expensive to produce for a niche audience. So, the end might be in sight for financial reasons. It would be a shame if this is the case, because it’s a brilliant series. Still, Fincher is used to making movies. They’re huge, sweeping, epic movies, but he’s still used to telling stories in a short-form format. Maybe two seasons will be enough. He also does way too many takes when he’s directing. It’s an acceptable amount for a more elongated film shoot, but not an expedited television production.
14 Possible: Ozark
While Jason Bateman’s crime drama Ozark has been renewed for a third season to air this year, it’s unclear whether it will keep going after that. The show has never been too negatively reviewed, but the critical consensus has never been overwhelmingly positive either. Jason Bateman has said, “Ozark looks like, God willing, it will be going for a little bit,” but maybe the story’s natural end is just on the horizon. The series has, so far, followed the classic structure of a trilogy. Season 1 set up the premise and the characters, then season 2 escalated the stakes and went a little deeper and darker, so it would make sense for season 3 to be the end.
13 Ending: The Punisher
Daredevil’s surprising cancellation signposted Netflix’s intentions to move towards full ownership of its content, cutting any co-productions like the Marvel shows they share with Disney. This was just before the release of the second season of Daredevil spin-off The Punisher. So, a lot of the show’s fans went into that season knowing it could be the last. Netflix waited a few weeks to officially cancel the series after season 2’s release, but most viewers knew that was coming anyway. It’s a real let-down, because Jon Bernthal finally nailed the character. We finally had a screen version of Frank Castle who could be as brutally violent as he is in the comics. Now, we may never see classic comic book story-lines like “The Cell” and “The Slavers” adapted for the screen.
12 Possible: Frontier
This gritty Canadian western series has made it to three seasons and it’s built quite a large viewership, but with its star Jason Momoa on the rise, its days could be numbered. Momoa’s Aquaman just out-grossed The Dark Knight Rises to become DC Films’ highest grossing movie and Warner Bros. are eager to get a bunch of sequels and spin-offs into development – including a whole movie about the Trench – so the actor might not have the time to star in a TV series anymore. However, there is always the chance he’ll stay faithful to his earlier projects and make time in his hectic schedule to do another season of this show.
11 Ending: Fuller House
The Full House reboot has been renewed for its fifth and final season to premiere in late 2019. This was one of the earliest reboots of classic TV series from the ‘90s that ushered in a whole new wave of them. Just like the original, this sequel series began with a parent being widowed and inviting in some friends to help out with their now-solo parenting. But instead of three men raising three girls like in the original, this reboot cleverly flipped it on its head to tell the story of three women raising three boys. The reboot has been very popular, especially among the original show’s fan base, even if the critics haven’t been kind to it.
10 Possible: Paradise PD
This adult animated series from the creators of Comedy Central’s Brickleberry managed to scrape a second season renewal last year, but mixed reviews from critics might dwindle its audience down to cancellation levels. The Decider’s critic wrote, “It’s just not worth sitting through the many unfunny, dirty gags to get to the good stuff.” Still, the show does have a cult following, which might be big enough to keep it going past season 2. After all, there is a huge audience out there for adult animation with crude humor and graphic content. Paradise PD is certainly an improvement over Brickleberry, which was famously explicit without also being funny.
9 Possible: Arrested Development
Arrested Development hasn’t been anywhere near as beloved or acclaimed in its Netflix seasons than it was in its Fox seasons. Netflix released season 4 in 2013 and the first half of season 5 in 2018. There’s no date in sight for the second half of that season to be fully released, and after a tumultuous and emotional New York Times interview revealed divisions between the cast members, it looks like the show could be past its expiration date. Ever since Netflix took control of this cult favorite, it’s been one giant mess. The actors are never in any scenes together, the plotting is all over the show, and it just isn’t that funny anymore.
8 Ending: Jessica Jones
With Netflix clearing out its Marvel series, one of the only ones left was Jessica Jones. And then they went and cancelled that one, too. While the series has been renewed for a third season, which Netflix has confirmed will still air later this year despite the cancellation, that will be its last. Suffice to say, fans of the show are pretty broken up about it. Netflix released a statement about the cancellation praising the show’s cast and crew: “We are grateful to show-runner Melissa Rosenberg, star Krysten Ritter, and the entire cast and crew, for three incredible seasons of this groundbreaking series, which was recognized by the Peabody Awards among many others.”
7 Possible: The Ranch
A show that preaches traditional values had to cut one of its stars, Danny Masterson, after he faced a barrage of accusations. In turn, the That ‘70s Show reunion took a drastic left turn and had one of the main characters lose his life in a motorcycle accident, just to get public enemy number one out of the cast. As a result, the show might have to go. The series has been renewed for a fourth season, but it’s unclear if that will be its last. The Ranch has always released its seasons in two parts of ten episodes each, so who knows how this will be doled out? Either way, it can’t last forever.
6 Ending: Easy
Joe Swanberg’s brilliant comedy anthology series exploring the unseen niches of society has been renewed for a third and final season. Unlike a lot of the Netflix original series that will be calling it quits this year, this one wasn’t cancelled. It has a huge audience that appreciates its diverse range of characters and story-lines. The cast includes an eclectic range of hipster favorites, from Dave Franco to Kiersey Clemons to Marc Maron to Emily Ratajkowski. It isn’t ending due to low viewership or behind-the-scenes drama – Swanberg has simply decided that it’s the right time to bring his loosely linked anthology stories to a close.
5 Possible: Narcos: Mexico
This “reset” of Netflix’s crime-drama Narcos hasn’t proven as popular as the original series. Plus, the unfortunate demise of a location scout has brought the show some bad press that could get it ultimately cancelled. It was a bad sign when the fourth season of Narcos was turned into a whole new show called Narcos: Mexico, because that made it seem like a spin-off, and spin-offs have a lot of negative connotations attached to them. It made it seem like Netflix were just telling stories that didn’t need to be told in order to make an easy buck on an established brand. Whether this is actually the case or not, it doesn’t make a difference to the passive consumer.
4 Possible: The Kominsky Method
While The Kominsky Method has received surprisingly positive reviews for a Chuck Lorre show and Michael Douglas is a compelling lead, Lorre’s name was enough to put a lot of viewers off. Some viewers didn’t even give it a chance, because they thought they had another Big Bang Theory or Two and a Half Men on their hands. This is 2019 – that stuff doesn’t fly anymore. Audiences have higher standards than cheap laughs. The Kominsky Method has been renewed for a second season, but Lorre’s previous Netflix show Disjointed didn’t even make it past the first season, although its episode count was much higher than this show. Either way, the future doesn’t look bright.
3 Possible: She’s Gotta Have It
Netflix’s reboot of Spike Lee’s She’s Gotta Have It has been renewed for a second season, but with filmmaker Lee being used to telling stories wrapped in a neat package, he might not want the show to go on much longer. Plus, he was recently up for an Oscar in the Best Picture category, so his career could be finally going up to the next level, which might not leave him with enough time to direct every episode of a TV show. He doesn’t seem like the kind of guy who would delegate the work to another director, because he has a very clear vision for all of his projects. Either he directs it or no one directs it.
2 Possible: Insatiable
With 230,000 signatures on a Change.org petition to stop it from being released in the first place and a 12% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, it’s a surprise that Netflix renewed this series for a second season at all. Somehow, by some miracle, the series will be returning this year. But due to all the controversy and negative reception, it likely won’t stick around much longer than that. The makers of the show have claimed they empower their lead character, despite parading Debby Ryan around in a fat suit, and tried to defend it as satire, but NPR’s Linda Holmes refuted this perfectly: “Insatiable is satire in the same way someone who screams profanities out a car window is a spoken-word poet.”
1 Possible: Making a Murderer
After two seasons of slowly doling out information about Steven Avery’s complicated case, Making a Murderer might be calling it quits. Though acclaimed by critics, the show has been highly criticized for being one-sided in its argument and leaving a lot of things out. Avery’s representatives have been asked continuously about the prospect of a third season, but they have repeatedly said it’s not up to them to work out, but rather up to Netflix and the show’s producers. Nothing official has been confirmed by the streaming service about a potential third season, but it would be a shame not to get closure, since we have so many unanswered questions.