It’s sad to see your favorite show get canceled for vague reasons like “having the wrong demographic” or with no explanation at all, like Fox’s decision to pull the plug on the hugely popular Brooklyn Nine-Nine. While fans were lucky enough to get Andy Samberg’s cop comedy renewed through NBC, not every unjustly axed show gets a second chance.
Freaks and Geeks and Firefly are the quintessential examples of shows that were gone too soon, streaming godfather Netflix has gone on a cancellation spree due to changing business models in the cutthroat world of bingeable content. In an effort to focus on quality rather than quantity, Netflix founder and C.E.O. Reed Hastings and C.O.O. Ted Sarandos began a bloodbath (of the streaming content variety) to open the doors for riskier, crazier content. This list will continue to grow as Netflix cancels even more of our faves, and all we can do is pray to the streaming gods that our guilty pleasure show will stay above the fray.
Netflix tried (and failed) to put their own spin on a Saturday Night Live-style sketch comedy show with The Characters, a short-lived experiment that lasted only eight episodes and featured eight up-and-coming comedians who each wrote and starred in their own installment of the series. Basically, no one liked it. It's audience score is only a 54% on Rotten Tomatoes despite receiving Certified Fresh ratings from critics at the LA Times, the AV club and Common Sense Media universal disdain for a show is a pretty good reason for cancellation, but it seems like Netflix never really gave it the chance to get off the ground.
Ok, first of all, Sophia Amoruso literally got ousted from her company for being bad at her job and then Nasty Gal got sold to Boohoo and we were all disappointed, so we don't know why they decided to make a TV show about how successful and great she was in the first place. That aside, Britt Robertson was adorable and we need more depictions of badass women succeeding in business, so it's too bad that Netflix canceled the show after one season and barely any time to find its footing.
This one's sad, you guys. This Norwegian drama got three seasons before Netflix pulled the plug, not because of waning fan interest, but because of legal issues between Netflix and the Norwegian broadcaster who owned the rights to the show. Lilyhammer, du vil bli savnet. (Google it.)
Hemlock Grove was the first Netflix Original to get canceled (but not the last; not even close). A combination of decreasing viewership and high production costs ultimately caused its demise. Thus, another show about supernaturally attractive werewolves was gone forever. Please speak out if you miss it, because I have a feeling not many people do.
Another show canceled due to high production expenses, Bloodline was originally planned with a five to six season arc in mind, but only made it to season three. Filming in the Florida Keys proved to be too pricey for the streaming giant, so this story of a family coping with the sudden return of their prodigal son became one of the earliest Netflix casualties. You'd think one of the biggest networks in the game wouldn't have to worry about budgets, but I guess we were wrong.
This is what happens when you try to expose the dark truth of a children's pool game. The first Netflix Original to get booted before season three followed the young Venetian trader Marco Polo throughout his time in the court of Kublai Khan and resulted in a $200 million deficit for Netflix. To be fair, it also caused a massive loss for the now-disgraced Weinstein Company, so we guess it wasn't all bad.
Can the real Baz Luhrmann please stand up? This buzzy musical drama had everything: strong aesthetic direction, central roles for people of color, and narration by the living legend that is Nas. Luhrmann supposedly stepped away from the series due to film obligations, but he hasn't made anything since (exempting one short for H&M) and there are no upcoming projects in pre-production listed on his IMDB. Something sketchy is going on.
Fans thought The Killing's resurrection by Netflix would last longer than six episodes. Why Netflix and the showrunners decided not to extend past the final season is unknown, but because this was the second time The Killing had been saved from cancellation, we were happy to take what we could get.
Longmire was originally canceled by A&E for not bringing in a younger demographic that the network was targeting. (How young of a demographic does A&E think is realistic though? For real...) Because of the show's great ratings, Netflix swooped in to create three more seasons before cutting it loose yet again during a particularly bloodthirsty round of Original TV cancellations. If you thought dealing with the pain of your show getting canceled once was tough, imagine having to go through it TWICE!
Turns out we weren't the only ones still missing Sense8, Netflix's wildly popular, refreshingly diverse sci-fi drama. The series was given a two-hour finale in summer 2018 due to intense reactions from the cast and fans of the show after being canceled the year before. It seemed like a pretty senseless cancellation, though, considering the fanbase this Netflix Original had accumulated. Apparently Sense8 was originally canceled because of poor marketing and the curse of a small-but-passionate fanbase, with the emphasis to studios always being on "small." Thankfully, the show was at least briefly revived and given the goodbye it deserved.
A victim of lax marketing, Atelier ended after one season despite decent reviews. A fashion-centric show like Girlboss with an entirely Japanese cast, Atelier was another example of Netflix canceling a well-liked show with people of color in the starring roles. What gives, Netflix? We could see this one becoming a cult classic nowadays. It was canceled in 2015.
Jake Brennan starred in this TV show following Harvey Comics' kid-billionaire, Richie Rich. It was given the boot after two seasons, even though it was produced by the same creative masterminds who gave us The Suite Life Of Zack And Cody. We guess the magic of the Sprouse twins cannot be replicated - sorry, Jake. Better luck next time!
Gypsy is one of the shortest-lived entries on this list, lasting only six weeks before getting the ax. Academy Award nominee Naomi Watts starred in this psychodrama as a voyeuristic therapist, but the series received lukewarm reviews and lacked the momentum of other Original releases around the time, like G.L.O.W., for example. Sadly, the primary culprit behind Gypsy's demise was Hasting’s insistence on increasing Netflix’s "hit ratio." *Rolls eyes*
Although Chelsea Handler has stated that she plans to continue her partnership with Netflix creating content more focused on activism and documentary work, her talk show for the streaming giant lasted only two seasons. It's sad to see a female-led late night show go off the air — there are so few women in the "late night girl gang" that Samantha Bee was literally able to give them all custom-made bomber jackets.
Based on the Akutagawa-prize winning novel, Hibana (Spark) followed two manzai comedians over ten years as they attempted to find success in their field. Netflix didn't believe the concept was executed properly and ended the show after just ten episodes. We just don't understand how only ten episodes can be considered "a chance."
Netflix picked up this Japanese reality hit as it ended its eight-season run on Fuji Television. After briefly cancelling the show yet again, Netflix decided to expand the franchise with an overseas edition Terrace House: Aloha State in 2016 and a third installment called Terrace House: Opening New Doors that is currently releasing new episodes. It looks like Netflix simply had bigger plans for this global sleeper hit.
Miranda Sings starred in this aggressively marketed comedy that got the boot after only two seasons. Her 9.7 million YouTube subscribers didn't help maintain the show's viewership through the second season, but with 343k new subscribers just in the month of July, we're going to assume that Colleen Ballinger and her quirky media personality are doing just fine with or without Netflix.
Oh, how the mighty have fallen. Once, a long time ago in 2017, House of Cards was the crown jewel of Netflix Originals as the first online-only television series to receive major Emmy Award nominations, eventually winning seven Emmys, two Golden Globes, and two SAG Awards. Then, during the airing of its fifth season, Kevin Spacey was accused of sexual assault by Rent star Anthony Rapp, beginning a fall from grace that would see over fifteen young men accuse Spacey of sexual misconduct. Clearly, Netflix made the right decision in severing all ties with Spacey, and House of Cards' next season is set to be its last, with Robin Wright taking over as the series' lead.
While Kathy Bates can do no wrong on American Horror Story, her Netflix comedy about the owner of a Los Angeles cannabis dispensary was canceled after one season in February 2018 because it simply wasn't that good. But don't just take our word for it — reviewers on Rotten Tomatoes described it as "sloppy," "seedy," and "dank" (but not in the way it was supposed to be).
Judd Apatow's well-received Netflix comedy starring Community's Gillian Jacobs ended after its third season, much to the chagrin of fans. Although it performed pretty well during its initial two seasons, Netflix decided to give it the boot ahead of the season three premiere. Apatow wasn't too heartbroken by the loss, though, and agreed that the show had run its course.
American Vandal's first season was a Peabody Award-winning, Emmy nominated feather in Netflix's cap, but the true-crime mockumentary got the ax after two seasons in October 2018. The series's future was still up in the air as of April 2019, with showrunners telling IndieWire its life after Netflix had "yet to be determined." Deadline reported that the series producer CBS TV Studios has seen interest from other platforms in reviving the show for a third season, but as of now, there's no one on TV to solve the crimes committed by middle-class high school students.
Uma Thurman and Tony Goldwyn's Netflix series was canceled in June 2019 after just one season. Variety first reported the news that the star-studded horror drama wasn't buzzy enough for Netflix to greenlight a follow-up to its ten-episode freshman season, which followed a teen trying to solve the mystery surrounding her organ donor. Critics were underwhelmed by the show, gifting it a measly 41% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and although Netflix doesn't release its numbers to the public, it sounds like Chambers never gained much traction with the viewers, either.
It seems like Cobie Smulders has a lot of luck. Her Marvel Cinematic Universe character is somehow still alive, her breakout role on How I Met Your Mother lasted nearly a decade, and her Netflix show had a stacked cast including Keegan-Michael Key, Fred Savage, and Billy Eichner. Alas, not every role can be a W, and Friends From College announced it wouldn't be coming back for season three via Twitter in mid-February 2019. The ensemble comedy was one of almost two dozen Netflix programs that ended that year in a mass exodus of streaming shows.
The critically-acclaimed comedy Lady Dynamite was canceled after two seasons after a long period where its fate was up in the air. The semi-autobiographical series by Maria Bamford had taken a toll on the comedienne because of its fifteen hour days and its effect on her social life, noting to The Hollywood Reporter that the mental health-oriented series was, ironically, putting her own mental health in danger. We don't know if the series's demise had anything to do with Maria's exhaustion, but we do know that she had plans for a third season which focused a little more on its secondary characters.
Everything Sucks! became one of Netflix first one-and-done series next to Girlboss, Haters Back Off!, Gypsy, and The Get Down when it was canceled only two months after its premiere. The '90s comedy had a 69% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, which could have been fine, especially considering its important lesbian representation and what The Hollywood Reporter rememberes as comparisons to Freaks and Geek. It looks like we'll never know the outcome of Everything Sucks!'s cliffhanger ending, following in Freaks and Geeks's tragic footsteps.
TVLine confirmed that Tony Danza and Josh Groban's father-and-son procedural wouldn't be returning for a second season in November 2018, adding yet another title to Netflix's eternally growing list of one season wonders. The series was worth watching just for the novelty of seeing Josh Groban act, but the feel-good series about a disgraced former cop and his earnest NYPD son was an Odd Couple for the CSI-era of crime-obsessed television audiences, with potential beyond its tiny ten episodes.
Get ready for some repetition. Daredevil was just one of many, many Marvel shows that Netflix axed in 2018 and 2019. When fans learned that the hugely popular character wouldn't live on through its streaming series (although the official statement made it clear he'll return in future Marvel projects), only Luke Cage and Iron Fist had been removed from the site, with the OG Netflix-Marvel giant Jessica Jones and The Punisher still preparing to release new seasons. Spoiler alert: No one's making it out alive this time.
Iron Fist had only released twenty-three episodes at the time of its cancellation, and no one saw the writing on the wall for Netflix's Marvel franchise because the Finn Jones-led comic book drama had received terrible reviews from critics. Still, the series's few fans had hope that Iron Fist would live on through the Disney+ streaming service. Deadline was the first to announce Iron Fist's demise in October 2018, noting that "there’s still a lot of Marvel to come for a while on Netflix" in what we writers like to call in hindsight a bit of dramatic irony.
Are we starting to see a pattern? Luke Cage's cancellation a week after Iron Fist's demise was the beginning of the end for Netflix's Marvel partnership, but sites like TVLine were still willing to attribute other factors (like, in Luke Cage's case, creative difference between Netflix and the series's creative team) to the shows' final bows, while noting that only three Marvel properties remained on Netflix's original production line-up. Showrunner Cheo Hodari Coker and the Luke Cage writers were already working on scripts for a third season, showing that these cancellations weren't just a shock to the fans.
The Punisher was canceled alongside Jessica Jones, finally spelling the end of Netflix and Marvel's beautiful marriage. The series had recently released its second season, which the streaming giant described as "acclaimed" with a "terrific crew and exceptional cast" in its official statement on the series's end shared by TVLine. Netflix promised that The Punisher would remain available for streaming on the site "for years to come," a small comfort for fans dealing with a whirlwind of comic book cancellations, which Marvel TV chief implied was Netflix's decision, not his.
This was the final nail in Netflix's Marvel coffin. The Punisher and Jessica Jones were canceled in the same fell swoop ahead of Jessica Jones's third (and now, final) season. While fans were still treated to a proper send-off for the Peabody-recognized series in June 2019, news of the Kristen Ritter-led series's end was still shocking not just as a popular addition to Netflix's lineup but also as the end of Netflix's partnership with the comic book behemoth. TVLine noted we may see Jessica again on Disney+, but not until 2020 or later because of a clause in Netflix's original contract for the show.
One Day at a Time's Netflix cancellation was nothing short of tragic, with fans lamenting the loss of its diversity, social relevance, and laugh-out-loud comedy. Not only was the controversial axing of Norman Lear's sitcom reboot a blow to Latinx representation on television, it was also a slap in the face to its outspoken, faithful audience in light of its critical and commercial acclaim. Digital Spy reported that Netflix VP Cindy Holland told crowds at Code Conference that the series wasn't pulling large enough audiences to offset its production costs, but lucky for us, Pop has resurrected the canceled comedy for a fourth season.
How dare Netflix cancel a Drew Barrymore-led series? Actually, how dare *anyone* cancel a Drew Barrymore-led series? America's National Treasure starred alongside Timothy Olyphant on this dark satire about a zombified suburban real estate agent and her eternally game husband. TVLine reported the zom-com's third season would be its last in April 2019 a month after Timothy admitted Netflix's recent slew of cancellations left Santa Clarita Diet's fate anyone's guess. Santa Clarita Diet premiered to mixed critical reviews, but its many fans deserved better than the series's unplanned cliffhanger ending.
Gee, guys, do you think maybe Netflix is having some money troubles? Another early 2019 cancellation, Eric McCormack's sci-fi drama Travelers ended after three seasons in February. The futuristic body snatchers series was originally produced by Canadian network Showcase before being taken over by Netflix leading into season three, TVLine explained. The fourth season would have completely reset the show, making this a fairly convenient time to conclude the series as-is, but fans were still bummed to see the series end before getting to experience its new direction.
As Business Insider's hilarious headline points out, no one has really cared about Fuller House since its first season. Netflix announced in February 2019 (aka streaming's Red Wedding month) that Fuller House's upcoming fifth season will be its last, which isn't too shabby considering the relatively small number of Netflix Originals that have made it that far. We're wondering if Aunt Becky's IRL fraud charges will help or hurt the series's viewership, and we're just grateful that Netflix was gracious enough to give the series one final post-College Admissions Scandal hurrah.
There's been a little confusion as to whether Netflix darling The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt had been canceled or simply come to its intended end, with sites like TVLine and Express citing the series ~cancellation~ despite Tina Fey's May 2018 comments that she intended to end the series with season four. Whether this really was a mutual decision is anyone's guess, but it's still a shame to see the series go with only a scheduled interactive special left to soften the blow. No one really asked for Bandersnatch to become Burgess-snatch, but it's better than nothing.
Seven Seconds is one of a good chunk of Netflix Originals produced by outside companies to be canceled by the streaming service in 2018 and 2019, with an April 2018 announcement that the Regina King crime drama wouldn't be returning for season two. This came less than a year before Regina won her Oscar for If Beale Street Could Talk, which could have been a massive draw for the now-limited series. Still, the axing allowed Netflix to submit Seven Seconds in the Limited Series category at the Emmys, leading to a third win for Regina.
Another series that was most likely a mutual breakup between Netflix and its production team, A Series of Unfortunate Events ended after three seasons in January 2019 after its final season's announcement a year prior. Neil Patrick Harris explained to TVGuide at the time that three seasons would cover all of author Lemony Snicket's original novels, but the show did happen to conclude around the same time that Netflix went on its massive cancellation spree. It was an understandable but painful blow to the streaming service's ever-changing lineup.
Netflix's one-season wonder All About The Washingtons was originally picked up by the streaming service after ABC passed on their commissioned pilot, but it looks like network execs knew what they were talking about with this one. The series starred Rev Run (of Run DMC) and his wife, Justine Simmons, as fictionalized versions of themselves living a fictional post-retirement family life. Variety broke the news in October 2018, and the lack of buzz surrounding the series and, later, its cancellation implies that All About The Washingtons never really found an audience.
Jon Stewart. Stephen Colbert. John Oliver. What do all of these people have in common? They're all men. Yeah, we bet you thought we were going to say they're all famous late-night hosts, but that's the rub — nearly all late-night political pundits are male. That's what made The Break With Michelle Wolf's cancellation so disappointing, it was a rare late-night show featuring a female lead. Rolling Stone reports low viewership was to blame, but we report that better marketing by Netflix might have solved their low viewership problems.
Plan B Entertainment
Netflix announced it would be cancelling The OA after two seasons, leaving fans absolutely gutted. Not only was The OA a fantastic show, but season two also ended on a ridiculous cliffhanger, meaning everyone is like "WTF?" knowing that they'd never find out the ending of the story. The female lead and created show followed the story of a blind woman who disappeared but suddenly returned seven years later with her vision mysteriously restored. Fans of the show, including numerous celebrities, expressed their disappointment at Netflix's decision, with some even starting a petition to have it renewed. Fingers crossed!
Tuca & Bertie creator Lisa Hanawalt announced in July 2019 that the show hadn't been ordered for another season by Netflix — which meant another female produced show was down the drain. The show featured the voices of hilarious gals Tiffany Haddish and Ali Wong and had its first season air just two months prior to its cancellation. Lisa, who had also designed the characters for the animation show BoJack Horseman, expressed her disappointment at the shows cancellation, but hopes it will be picked up by another broadcaster. As do we, Lisa!
Designated Survivor just can't catch a break when it comes to networks/streaming sites. The Kiefer Sutherland show was canceled by ABC in May 2018 after just two seasons, but was thankfully picked up for a third by Netflix just four months later. Season three of the show premiered on Netflix in June 2019 and it must have done extremely poorly because Netflix literally said "thanks, but no thanks" and vetoed the show — poor Kiefer. If it makes fans feel better, the first three seasons of the show will remain on Netflix for the forseable future, which is something.
Like Designated Survivor, Lucifer was given another chance by Netflix after it was cut by Fox, but its revival was short lived. Fox canceled the show after three extremely popular seasons for what seemed like no reason at all in May 2018, but Netflix made it all better when it announced it would renew the show for season four on the streaming platform. However, just one month after season four aired, Netflix revealed it would renew the show for one last season, cancelling it after season five. We can't be too angry — at least the writers have a chance to finish the story!
In June 2019 it was announced that Netflix's original show The Rain would be renewed for a fourth season *YAY* but it would also be its last *AWH*. The show was Netflix's first Danish original series and follows a group of young adults who appear to be the only survivors after a brutal virus carried by the rain wiped out all of Scandinavia. The show has been decreasing in episodes since its first season aired in 2017, so it's not too surprising that Netflix has decided to let it go after three seasons.
Anyone else not prepared to have a lack of Ashton Kutcher on our screens again? The actor announced in June 2019 that his Netflix show The Ranch would be returning for one season and one season only. The show premiered in 2016 and starred Ashton and his That '70s Show co-star Danny Masterson, before he was fired after sexual assault allegations surfaced and replaced by Dax Shepard. The show will return to Netflix in 2020 for a whopping 20 episode season, before its gone for good. Are we the only ones crying in the club right now?
Popular animated show Voltron: Legendary Defender revealed it was ending with an eighth season at Comic-Con in 2018 and everyone was devastated. The show started airing back in 2016 and had eight very successful seasons in just three years. The last two seasons of the show, which was a critically acclaimed reboot of the original ‘80s franchise, was increased to 13 episodes as opposed to the six/seven from previous seasons to give fans the ending that they'd hoped for. Despite it being confirmed by Netflix that season eight would be the last of Voltron, fans are still holding out hope for season nine.
Netflix ended an era when it canceled Orange Is The New Black in 2019 with season seven. The streaming site announced OITNB would end with season seven back in 2018, just a couple of months after season six's premiere. The show was one of Netflix's first scripted original series and was a huge hit with viewers all over the world. The final season aired in summer 2019 and put an end to the storylines of the iconic Litchfield ladies nicely, except for one cliffhanger that has left fans asking questions. Season eight please, Netflix.
Free Period Productions
The Joel McHale Show with Joel McHale first aired on Netflix in 2018 and it seemed very promising. The comedy show featured a host of celebrity guests, comedy sketches, and video clips from TV, sports, politics, celebrity culture. It all came crashing down in August 2018 when Netflix announced the show would finish after that first season due to low viewership. Although we're sure that Joel was gutted his talk show was over in a flash, he took it like a champ and thanked Netflix for the opportunity it gave him. Back to The Soup with you, Joel!
This is one of the cancellations that bugs us the most. Between was a Canadian series that was streamed on Netflix for viewers outside of Canada. It starred iCarly’s Jennette McCurdy as a pregnant teenager living in a small town where a mysterious disease has killed everybody over age 22. The show began airing in 2015 and had two seasons, the last of which aired in August 2016. After the last season came out, Netflix and CityTV seemingly forgot about the show and there hasn't be word of another season since, nor a cancellation confirmation. It's been three years, Netflix, we need to know!