Netflix announced two quick one-and-done cancellations last week. Both shows barely debuted a month before they were axed. One show never really had time to get a fan base going. The other, Spinning Out, DID manage to get a lot of fans quickly invested in the skating show -- and those fans are now campaigning to save Spinning Out for Season 2.
Spinning Out released 10 episodes on Netflix on New Year's Day 2020. One month later, Netflix cancelled the show. Fans were shocked and confused. The show follows Kaya Scodelario as competitive ice skater Kat Baker, who secretly struggles with bipolar disorder. January Jones plays her mother Carol Baker, who also suffers from bipolar disorder.
Netflix's Spinning Out series managed to attract fans of skating, fans of the young cast -- including Evan Roderick, Willow Shields, and company -- fans of the recurring skating celebs like Johnny Weir, and fans who appreciated the deeper storylines and representation.
Disappointed fans have been getting the word out through social media with hashtags like #SaveSpinningOut and #RenewSpinningOut.
A Change.org petition was launched titled "Fans Demand the Renewal of Netflix's 'Spinning Out' for a Second Season." As petition Victoria Cotaj noted:
Many fans would agree, Spinning Out presents many issues we rarely get a glimpse of on TV today. It's refreshing to see such a well-done series on a sport (figure skating), which is most often overlooked in itself while including the raw and intense struggles that can come along with it. This show brought awareness to bipolar disorder, depression, sexual assault, racial inequality, the power of the wealthy, cultural stereotypes and so much more. Each episode brought the viewers into the world of not only Kat but the supporting characters as well, who all had so much depth and substance that told a story of their own.
She added that Spinning Out actors Kaya Scodelario and Evan Roderick deserve to continue to tell the story of Kat and Justin, as it would be a shame to end it improperly. "Their story isn't done yet."
Netflix is fueled by viewership and subscriptions. This is one of those shows that would have and will have had people coming back on to their platform to keep on watching. Netflix NEEDS to listen to the FANS and the VIEWERS. Renew Spinning Out for a second season! We pay to watch shows we enjoy!
So far, the petition has close to 30,000 signatures one week after the cancellation by Netflix. Will it make a difference? I suppose it depends on exactly why Spinning Out was cancelled.
Netflix only occasionally says anything specific about viewership numbers or the cost to produce shows. However, Deadline said cancelling a show one month after its debut fits with the streamer's practice of analyzing one month of viewership before making a renewal decision on certain "bubble" shows.
Spinning Out originated as Kiss and Cry at the Pop network. Pop president Brad Schwartz explained to Deadline how his network lost the show, and it sounds like there was a cost factor involved:
With Kiss and Cry, which became Spinning Out, that was our favorite project, best script I think we ever had, and a young, up-and-coming new voice who wrote it, autobiographical and a passion project — all the things that we love to champion. We went everywhere trying to get that (made). We went to CBC in Canada, tried to co-produce it under a Schitt’s Creek model, we went to Netflix and tried to do a co-production deal with them on it, we went to MGM because they have the figure skating movie The Cutting Edge.
We went to MGM and we were like, do you want to do this with us and we’ll call it Cutting Edge, just like Friday Night Lights, we’ll just borrow the IP. We went all over town for like a year trying to figure out how to put the money together for it. Lionsgate came on board at one point, and we just couldn’t do it. We couldn’t find the economic model for us, and it’s heartbreaking and we had to let it go, and then Netflix jumped on it. Part of me is cheering for it because I love it so much, and then the other part of me is like, that’s the next Homeland. It’ll be on my résumé but it will suck that’s it’s not on Pop.
Some fans are now hoping Pop swoops back in to save Spinning Out, since the network president was such a fan. But if economics were the main factor to begin with, I imagine that's still the case.
Other fans are hoping Netflix changes its mind after fan outcry. After all, it worked -- for a time -- with Netflix's Sense8. Ever since then, fans of shows like The OA or Anne With an E have pushed and pushed for their shows to return, or to at least get wrap-up movies for cliffhanger closure. Most of the time, it doesn't work. (I'm still mad about The Santa Clarita Diet.)
But we live in a very competitive streaming era. There's Amazon -- which has saved shows in the past, like The Expanse -- and Hulu, Disney+, Apple TV+ and NBC's Peacock and HBO Max about to launch. So fans are left with hope that if Netflix lets something go after barely one month, maybe another streaming show's execs will notice the fan response and think it's worth the investment.
Do you still have hope for Spinning Out, or another cancelled Netflix show? There are so many now.