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Is Netflix as Quick to Cancel Shows As it Appears?

Stephen Silver

A big part of Netflix’s rise to streaming supremacy over the last decade is that it has been the home to a lot of shows, just a massive amount of original content.

Of course, what goes up must come down, and the recent financial woes of the service has led to the cancellation of a seemingly large number of series. However, the company had been swinging the ax long before it started shedding subscribers. As early as 2020, many noticed that Netflix was canceling lots of shows after just two seasons, no matter critically acclaimed or audience beloved they were.

Recently, What's on Netflix, took a look at a study originally done by a French-language newsletter Netflix and Chiffres, which analyzed all of the shows that Netflix shows that came out in 2021, and the fate of each series. Of the 232 shows listed, 98 of them (42.2%) were renewed, 54 (23.3%) were “completed” — which means that they wrapped up for reasons other than cancellation — 62 (26.7%) remain “in limbo,” and 18 (7.8%) were canceled.

The 18 canceled shows included “The Irregulars,” “Jupiter’s Legacy,” “Dad,” “Stop Embarrassing Me!,” “Country Comfort,” “The Crew,” “Hit & Run,” “Zero,” “Zero Chill”, “City of Ghosts,” “Pretty Smart,” “Idhun,” “Hache,” “Monarca,” “Bonding,” “Gentefied,” “Another Life” and “The Baby-Sitters Club.” 

Despite the exhaustive analysis, it isn’t totally complete, for a few reasons. It only counts shows that appeared on Netflix in 2021, so it doesn’t include series like “Space Force,” which had its first season in 2020, its second in 2022, and was canceled at the end of April.

That’s also the case with “Raising Dion,” which debuted in 2019, aired a second season in February 2022, and then was also canceled in April. Other shows, like “Archive 81,” which debuted this year and have already been canceled perhaps because of recent business and financial changes, were not included.

Additionally, the live-action adaptation of “Cowboy Bebop,” for which the lone season and cancellation both in came in 2021, isn’t included, but there was no explanation given.

The Netflix and Chiffres analysis was also done in April, leaving out anything canceled after that, such as “The Midnight Gospel,” which was dropped in early June after airing its first and only season in April. And it also omits several shows that Netflix canceled while they were still in development, in announcements that came after the company’s bad earnings release in April.

So yes, Netflix is clearly canceling more shows than it used to, a trend that’s likely to continue with the company clearly looking to spend less money. But they’re not canceling anywhere close to the majority of shows, either. However, the real issue that many fans seem to have is which shows are being canceled. When big-budget series like “Space Force” and “Jupiter’s Legacy” fail to connect with audiences, they will almost certainly be canceled, regardless of the platform that they air on, but when shows with passionate and dedicated fanbases like “The Baby-Sitters Club,” “Julie and The Phantoms,” “One Day at a Time,” and more, consumers become hesitant to invest time and emotions on shows that might not be able to continue telling their story, no matter how popular or successful they are.

Of course, that has been the nature of television since the dawn of the medium — no show is ever guaranteed the ability to wrap up on its own terms — but as Netflix looks to trim budgets and pivot more towards unscripted content, consumers are increasingly reticent to fall in love with Netflix shows.

Netflix

Netflix is a subscription video streaming service that includes on-demand access to 3,000+ movies, 2,000+ TV Shows, and Netflix Originals like Stranger Things, Squid Game, The Crown, Tiger King, and Bridgerton. They are constantly adding new shows and movies. Some of their Academy Award-winning exclusives include Roma, Marriage Story, Mank, and Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.

Netflix offers four plans — on 1 device in SD with their “Basic with Ads” ($6.99) plan, on 1 device in SD with their “Basic” ($9.99) plan, on 2 devices in HD with their “Standard” ($15.49) plan, and 4 devices in up to 4K on their “Premium” ($19.99) plan.

Netflix spends more money on content than any other streaming service meaning that you get more value for the monthly fee.

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