Besides changing the media landscape when it first became available to people around the world, Netflix has become synonymous with saving and cancelling different shows. Over the years, the streaming service turned entertainment juggernaut saved some fan-favorite shows from cancellation by acquiring their rights while also inciting some backlash for suddenly ending shows early.
While some fanbases have been grateful to Netflix for saving their favorite show, others have become furious at the network’s seeming indifference when it callously cuts a show short for no good reason. Here are 5 shows that Netflix saved and what we know of their futures, plus 5 other canceled shows that we hope Netflix revives in the future.
The wacky comedy about a woman who grew up in a doomsday bunker ended last January on a heartfelt note. Originally meant for broadcast on NBC, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt may or may not have been cancelled before it even premiered were it not for Netflix buying it.
But just because the series finale aired earlier this year doesn’t mean it’s over for Kimmy and her friends. Netflix gave the show its second revival through an interactive experience set to be released in 2020. The showrunners are currently considering a feature-length sequel, which they believe is likely to happen.
In 2018, Kiefer Sutherland’s return to the world of political intrigue was cut short when ABC canceled Designated Survivor. Netflix quickly stepped in and gave President Tom Kirkman another 10 episodes to serve in office… only for the network to cancel the show a year later.
The series that Netflix was hoping would succeed House of Cards garnered great reviews that didn’t reflect in its middling ratings, hence its cancellation. The official Korean remake Designated Survivor: 60 Days is currently airing and can be viewed on Netflix.
Chronicling the life and times of the dysfunctional Bluth clan, Arrested Development met acclaim in its original network FOX before getting canceled after three seasons’ worth of uninspired ratings. Netflix saved the show and gave it two more seasons but the streaming service may be reconsidering this rescue.
The last two seasons of Arrested Development received mixed reviews at best but the worst the show has to deal with is the storm of controversy surrounding series regular Jeffrey Tambor. Netflix has yet to confirm or deny a sixth season but it’s unsurprising that no one’s rushing to do so.
The DC Universe – a streaming service dedicated to showing new and old DC Comics entertainment – started on the wrong foot when it canceled its premiere original series Swamp Thing on the same day its pilot episode aired.
Even with this unexpected blow, Swamp Thing was received positively and praised for successfully adapting a niche and somewhat difficult source material to live-action. The show wrapped things up nicely but ended on an open note, leaving the door open for a possible sequel season should a network like Netflix save it.
Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, the surprise reality TV hit of the early 2000s, returns in the reboot series Queer Eye. Starring a new Fab Five, Netflix’s take on the popular makeover show has proven to be one of its biggest hits.
The original show concluded well enough and wasn’t cancelled, but any attempts to revive or expand the brand ended in failure. Most notable was its spin-off Queer Eye for the Straight Girl, which lasted a single season. Netflix finally broke the curse and renewed Queer Eye for two more seasons, one of which is currently airing.
At the start of the streaming boom, Netflix’s main draw were its exclusive Marvel series that were (somehow) connected to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Though the reception varied for each show, Netflix’s takes on Daredevil, Iron Fist, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and the Punisher were generally well-liked.
But with Marvel streamlining its properties and cutting loose ends, the Netflix-Marvel shows had to go. Netflix’s split from Marvel left many cliffhangers and while The Defenders may eventually return in the MCU, it would be nice if their streaming adventures were at least wrapped up properly instead of having no conclusion.
Despite having a dedicated fanbase, FOX canceled Lucifer – a loose adaptation of the comics from Vertigo Comics – after three seasons due to underwhelming ratings that didn’t justify the production costs. Fans of Lucifer’s retirement on Earth rallied together and launched a petition to revive the show, and Netflix answered their demonic prayers.
Netflix gave Lucifer two more seasons, with the upcoming fifth one serving as its closing chapter. The last season will be 16 episodes long, giving the showrunners and the cast the chance to give the former Lord of Hell the ending he deserves.
Like Lucifer, NBC’s Hannibal was a popular horror-themed show with devoted viewers. But just like the series about the Devil himself, the morbid charisma of Hannibal’s titular cannibal was not enough to save it from cancellation.
Ever since its end, fans have been begging studios to give lead actor Mads Mikkelsen another chance to eat people onscreen. Series creator Bryan Fuller hasn’t given up, recently confirming his ongoing talks with different studios. By reviving the show, Fuller may finally get the chance to adapt The Silence of the Lambs, which he’s been building up to since episode one.
Due to budgetary constraints, the British network Channel 4 had no choice but to drop Black Mirror – the famous horror anthology for the modern age. Luckily, Netflix came in at the right moment and bought it.
The acquisition was a great success for Netflix. Even if each new season’s reception may be a bit divisive, Netflix’s Black Mirror enjoyed consistently high ratings. A sixth series hasn’t been officially announced yet but given how popular and widely successful the likes of Bandersnatch were, it’d be surprising if Netflix scuttled the anthology.
Fondly referred to as BoJack Horseman’s less depressed sibling, Tuca & Bertie was an adult-oriented cartoon about a pair of (bird) women coming to terms with their 30s. The show opened to rave reviews but not even three months after its premiere, Netflix canceled it.
The show’s unceremonious end was met negatively, with many citing Netflix’s apparent lack of effort and interest in promoting a cartoon made for and by women. Of the shows listed here, Tuca & Bertie deserves a second chance the most due the promise it had before it was unfairly and suddenly canned.