In 2016, Fox News and Variety reported that Netflix would almost double the number of original series it would produce the following year, many of which would be unscripted. The company’s goal, according to Netflix Chief Financial Officer David Wells, is to create original content that will make up 50 percent of all the shows, movies and comedy specials Netflix offers.
As Netflix is expanding its repertoire and adding new seasons to hits like “House of Cards” and “Stranger Things,” it is also issuing pink slips. The company announced that it would end Baz Luhrmann’s “The Get Down,” a music-driven introduction to the world of hip-hop, shortly after the release of part two of the first season. Most recently, “Sense8,” a complicated sci-fi thriller, is on the chopping block.
This brings Netflix’s total rejections to four, which also includes production for further seasons of “Bloodline” and “Marco Polo.”
While reviews favored part one of the first season of “The Get Down,” part two came as a disappointment, and the cancellation came as no surprise to critics. On social media, however, it became evident that the show had grown a large following, and the hashtag “#RenewTheGetDown” received thousands of shares from disheartened fans.
“Sense8” was a different story, one most TV fans have become familiar with. Its first season garnered lukewarm reviews, but the second installment kicked the show into high gear. It seems just as “Sense8” was earning positive attention and grabbing fans, the two-part series was subjected to TV purgatory.
Another hashtag, “#RenewSense8,” and multiple petitions to get the show back on Netflix followed the announcement.
This begs the question: How many TV shows have executives canceled prematurely, not allowing characters and storylines to see their true potential?
Cult classics including “Freaks and Geeks” and “Twin Peaks” saw their time in the spotlight only after the shows appeared on streaming networks years after their end. As a result, the latter saw a reboot in May.
Is money making it difficult to give new TV shows enough time to hit their marks, while the same reason causes networks to drag programs like “Grey’s Anatomy” past their prime?
On Tuesday, Z100’s Elvis Duran and the Morning Show spoke during a break about their disappointment with the cancellation. Duran himself mentioned that while the first season was, “OK, the second season was fantastic,” and the show seemed to be gearing up for success in the future.
Co-host Bethany Watson said, “Some shows need a little time to get their footing, and a lot of times they don’t get the chance to get their footing before they’re canceled.”
Duran said “Sense8 is one of those shows people should’ve watched, but they didn’t. He said that’s why Netflix is taking it away.
In 2015, Hypable wrote that “Sense8” set a new standard for diversity on TV while The Washington Post called it “a progressive dream.” This year, that dream is dead.
Some have wondered with a critical eye why these two shows, featuring diverse casts and stories, are the ones to be canceled rather than other ill-received Netflix shows. On the other hand, “Orange Is the New Black,” featuring a very diverse and mostly female cast, is returning for its fifth season Friday.
There is always hope for a second chance at TV success, however. After all, less than a year after “American Idol” was canceled, ABC executives are scheduling to revive the show that has not yet settled into its grave. And ironically, Netflix is particularly notorious for bringing back popularly missed shows of this kind.