For the past few years, one of the biggest guarantees in the entertainment world was that Netflix simply wasn't interested in cancelling any of its original series, adding continued intrigue to its mysterious viewership stats. Recently, however, the streaming giant's cracks started to show via a string of somewhat surprising cancellations, which have been received in ways both quiet and loud, and it doesn't appear this tie-cutting trend will stall out anytime soon, either.
As such, it's a good time to keep tabs on all the shows that Netflix has bid farewell to since its plunge into original programming. We'll keep this list updated over time, so check back the next time you're wondering why in the hell you haven't seen That Streaming Show You Really Like in a while.
Back when "Netflix and chill" meant "get DVD envelopes in the mail and relax," the streaming company entered into the original programming field via a co-production with Norwegian TV channel NRK1: the intense and Sopranos-esque crime drama Lilyhammer. Starring Steven Van Zandt (who also had many other duties behind the scenes) as a former Mafia underboss whose Witness Protection relocation to Norway does not go as smoothly or non-dangerously as he'd hoped, Lilyhammer grew more expensive as the seasons passed, and the plug was pulled, with Season 3 thankfully allowed a planned and meaningful resolution.
Just after Frank Underwood appeared in our lives, and just before Litchfield's inmates did, Netflix showed its genre hand with an adaptation of Brian McGreevy's novel Hemlock Grove, from the author himself (with Eli Roth as EP). But while its production value and aesthetic were praised by many, the story itself -- a murder-filled tale of werewolves and other supernatural beings -- proved to be far less pleasing for viewers and critics, with many criticizing its sloppy soapiness right from the get-go. But it still got two more seasons before biting the silver bullet.
Success, while looking so good from one angle, can often lead to unforeseen problems. Enter Marco Polo, John Fusco's expansive trip back into history for a dramatized take on Marco Polo's time with Kublai Khan around the point of the Battle of Xiangyang. The cinematography could not have looked more pristine, but accompanying all that lushness was a narrative that lacked for excitement, and a budget that lacked for practicality. The two seasons reportedly set Netflix back over $200 million, making it one of the most expensive shows of all time and then some.
While Netflix's first two ventures into adult animation were extremely successful -- we're talking BoJack Horseman and the recently renewed F Is for Family here -- the company's first effort with live-action children's entertainment, Richie Rich, was nowhere near as great. (In comparison, Julie's Greenroom is everything we hoped for.) With a tone that could often be broader than the ocean floor, Richie Rich was as lazy an adaptation of a classic property as could be. One can only be thankful that the show was cancelled before other Harvey Comics characters got the same treatment.
Netflix's first true all-star drama, Bloodline boasted a cast and crew that included the creators of Damages, a post-FNL Kyle Chandler, the always charming Sissy Spacek, the Tony-winning Norbert Leo Butz, and the list goes on, punctuated by the gravitas-oozing Ben Mendelsohn. The secret-driven drama racked up fans and acclaim across its first two seasons, and though it seemed like the planned 5-seasons-or-so narrative could come to fruition, Netflix decided Season 3 would be the last one. The episode count was decreased in the process, resulting in a bonkers final stretch with too much gas and not enough runway.
Seasons: 2, plus a Christmas special and impending "final" special
Sense8 is unlike every other show on this list, and for far more than just one reason. Created by the Wachowskis and J. Michael Straczynski, Sense8 not only spanned the globe, but also the genre spectrum, utilizing a gigantic budget and a talented ensemble to tell a sci-fi-leaning story of connection and acceptance. Another more notable distinction is that its cancellation provoked a fan uproar so vocal that Netflix actually backtracked on its own decision, ordering up standalone installment that will serve as the true two-hour finale. Still cancelled, but in a slightly less infuriating way, and proving that it isn't just other network's shows that Netflix can save.
Netflix Presents: The Characters
To be fair, The Characters is one of Netflix's more offbeat projects, and didn't necessarily seem destined to live on for years on end, seeing as how it was basically eight separate comedic vignettes crafted by just-shy-of-mainstream comics such as Lauren Lapkus and Kate Berlant. It's well worth one's time, of course, but its failure to earn a second season is hardly shocking. It is worth noting, though, that Netflix will soon release The Standups, which is a series of six different stand-up sets, so the company clearly wants to keep finding episodic formats to showcase comedians.
Following the releases of shows like Club de Cuervos and Marseille, Netflix extended its slate of foreign language series produced fully in-house with the Japanese drama Hibana. Adapted from the novel by author Naoki Matayoshi, the story followed Kento Hayashi's stand-up comedian Tokunaga, who tags along with Kazuki Namioka's Kamiya in order to pick up some of the latter's expert skills in the Japanese comedic style of manzai. Released in June 2016, Hibana was well received by audiences, but nothing further came of it, although several shows that have been released since have earned Netflix's renewal graces.
The Get Down
Like others on this list, The Get Down offered Netflix subscribers some of the most interesting visuals and sounds that the small screen has to offer, with creators Baz Luhrmann and Stephen Adly Guirgis resurrecting the South Bronx in the 1970s -- in the fashion, in the locations, and in the music. To be expected, doing all that meant The Get Down cost Netflix a ton of money, and after the drama apparently failed to draw in large enough audience eyeballs during its split-release first season, Netflix cancelled it. At least all involved can rest assured that they created something completely unique.
Since Netflix is still in its infancy when it comes to cancelling series, almost every announcement has some kind of "first" attached, and the based-on-real-life comedy Girlboss managed to become the first Netflix original to get cancelled within the first three months of its initial release. Telling the story of upstart-creator Sophia Amoruso, Girlboss starred Britt Robertson and boasted Pitch Perfect writer Kay Cannon as its showrunner, with Charlize Theron as an executive producer. But recognizable names do not create laudable series, and white Robertson won many over, the show itself gained the kind of attention that earned its ending.
Various Animated Children's Shows
Even though animated series are usually much cheaper for Netflix to produce, especially in multi-season batches, that hasn't stopped the company from calling in quits with a selection of animated series both recognizable and easy to forget. We're just going to rattle these off without descriptions, though.
Turbo FAST - Seasons: 3
VeggieTales in the House - Seasons: 4
All Hail King Julien - Seasons: 4
Popples - Seasons: 3
Care Bears & Cousins - Seasons: 2
Lego Bionicle: The Journey to One - Seasons: 2
Lego Friends: The Power of Friendship - Seasons: 2
Justin Time GO! - Seasons: 1
To be clear, there are other lesser-known shows that could have appeared on this list, such as the co-produced Japanese drama Atelier or the docu-series Chelsea Does and Cooked, but those weren't necessarily intended to continue. The same goes for Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life, which could technically still go on, as can the sketch series W/ Bob and David. As well, The Killing isn't listed at all, as it was ordered by Netflix specifically for the final season, and Longmire didn't make the cut yet because its final season is yet to air, and Netflix could always find a way to order more in the future.
Now that all the bad news is out of the way, head to our Netflix premiere schedule to see all the shows that have yet to hit the streaming service this year. And then hop over to our summer TV schedule to see everything else the small screen has to offer.
Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.
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