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Netflix is currently more popular than ever, and is dropping more money on original programming than just about any other entertainment entity ever. But lots of success does't mean universal success, since not every new project can attain and surpass viewership expectations. That seems to be the case with the recent crime drama Seven Seconds, which has officially been cancelled by the streaming giant, with no Season 2 on the way.
By the nature of its streaming model, Netflix doesn't usually have predictable windows when renewal and cancellation announcements can be expected, and Seven Seconds' cancellation will probably come as a bit of a surprise to some. For one, the painful drama was only released in its entirety at the end of February, so Netflix only allowed for six or seven weeks of subscriber interaction before its execs made the decision to end things. That's technically a long time for a linear TV network, where weekly ratings have to be tabulated, but Netflix probably has a good idea of Seven Seconds' life cycle of popularity looks, and it apparently wasn't striking enough to justify a second round of episodes.
Second, Seven Seconds' cancellation is a shocker because the show mainly earned kind words and positive reviews from critics and audiences alike. With Regina King heading up the ensemble, the crime drama centered on a community uproar following the critical injury of a black teenager by white cops, and the ensuing cover-up by the policemen on the scene. The acclaim was not entirely one-sided, with some viewers calling Seven Seconds too heavy-handed and bogged down in its own self-seriousness, but many praised creator Veena Sud for how the show reflects modern-day racial tensions.
Just because Netflix cancelled Seven Seconds so early on, that doesn't mean all the show's chances to succeed have been completely snuffed out. According to Deadline, Netflix is expected to submit Seven Seconds to the Emmy Awards as Limited Series - Drama, though it'll likely face some super-stiff competition there. Could a surprise victory mean anything for the crime drama's future? Probably not, but I'm sure Veena Sud and Regina King would be beyond pleased to have the show win something post-cancellation.
Of course, for all the confused looks that this cancellation might get, let's not forget that Seven Seconds actually did feature an ending, as opposed to leaving fans on the hood with a bloody cliffhanger or something. So while an anthology format could have been used to focus on another horrible crime, Seven Seconds was at least a fully functioning standalone story, even if some questions remained in the end.