7 Netflix Shows That Were Cancelled Too Soon


Netflix’s unrivalled, undisputed dominance of the home entertainment market allows them to take big risks with their content, should they choose to do so.

With over 100 million paying customers each month, the service has a massive, Scrooge McDuck-esque bottomless pit of gold coins they can spend on superhero shows, comedy shows, drama shows, and everything else in-between. The bad thing is, this more open approach to content creation has one major downside: cancelling any of these shows will not diminish Netflix’s success in the slightest.

In fact, the streaming giant could probably erase half of its original series and barely put a dent in those 100 million subscribers. As a result, Netflix has cancelled a lot of shows in the past, and while many of these received satisfying conclusions, went out on a high note, or just felt like they’d reached a natural ending point… some didn’t.

Whether they were just plain good, had unresolved plotlines, or showed some promise that an additional season (or two) could have capitalised on, there are a bunch of Netflix shows whose cancellations feel bitterly disappointing, and they definitely ended far too soon.

7. Sense8


Why It Was Cancelled: Netflix announced that Sense8 had been axed on 1 June 2017, little over a month after its second season debuted.

A few days later, Netflix’s chief content officer Ted Sarandos commented that the audience for the show simply wasn’t large enough, insinuating that the production costs outweighed the benefits (via TheWrap):

“We did two seasons of it and a movie in between… the audience was very passionate but just not large enough to support the economics of something that big, even in our platform.”

The show was then revived for a feature-length special the following year, but an actual third season never materialised.

Why It Deserved A Future: It’s odd that Sarandos seems to think that Sense8’s audience isn’t that large, because it was that very same audience – with petitions, hashtags, and other means – that persuaded Netflix to make a feature-length special after the show’s initial cancellation.

To put that into perspective: Sense8’s fanbase is so big and so passionate that it managed to make a multi-billion dollar company change its mind. With an audience like that waiting for more content, it just doesn’t make sense to not keep Sense8 going, at least for a couple more years.

The show itself was risky, complex and diverse, and was praised for its impeccable portrayal of LGBTQ characters. This made it feel genuinely important to a massive group of people, and with positive reviews and great word-of-mouth, it doesn’t seem right that Sense8 is no longer around.

6. The Get Down


Why It Was Cancelled: With only 11 episodes under its belt, The Get Down was axed by Netflix in May 2017.

The show was plagued with issues. Alongside multiple production delays, it carried a rumoured overall budget of $120 million, which would have made it the most expensive series on television, and these high costs – whether they were actually that high or not – contributed to Netflix’s decision to pull the plug.

Why It Deserved A Future: With an addictive soundtrack and creator Baz Luhrmann’s (The Great Gatsby, Moulin Rouge!) extravagant stylistic choices, The Get Down feels like nothing else you can watch on Netflix. Its talented young cast were great fun to watch, and they – like the show as a whole – got better with each episode.

The first season is broken up into two halves, with the first taking place in 1977 and the second in 1978. This year-hopping format allowed each half of the show to feel distinct, yet connected, while slowly chronicling the evolution of the music at the time. If The Get Down had been renewed, this structure could have been exploited to great effect going forward.

We could have jumped ahead to the ’80s, the ’90s or even the ’00s. Different styles of music could have been explored, and perhaps the show could have been turned into an anthology, with one series having a disco vibe and another focusing on R&B. Or, we could’ve simply got more episodes set in 1979.

The Get Down’s combination of engaging characters and killer music is an incredibly appealing mix, and there are many directions it could have taken in future seasons.

5. Everything Sucks!


Why It Was Cancelled: News about Everything Sucks! being cancelled was first broken by THR in April of this year. After just one season, Netflix decided to axe the show due to many viewers not even completing the first episode, switching it off to go and watch something else instead.

As a rule, Netflix doesn’t care how quickly people watch their content; they care about audience retention. In that regard, Everything Sucks! just didn’t hold up, so it had to go.

Why It Deserved A Future: While the show does take a while to get into, it’s immensely rewarding for those who stick around. Detailing the ups and downs of teenage life in the mid-1990s, Everything Sucks! is a nostalgia-filled treat for people who grew up during that era, offering an enjoyable and amusing coming-of-age story to boot.

Its cancellation was met with uproar by fans of the show, in large part due to its willingness to explore sensitive topics. Season one included an ongoing storyline about Kate, one of the central characters, struggling with her sexuality. It was a well-handled exploration of the subject, and Netflix chopping the show spawned petitionsand negative feedback from angry supporters who wished to see more of this kind of stuff in their TV programmes.

It didn’t help that the show’s creators had already started thinking about season two, leaving season one feeling incomplete after ending on a cliffhanger. Everything Sucks! was endearing, touching and funny television, and it’s a damn shame that we won’t see any more of it.

4. Luke Cage


Why It Was Cancelled: Word of the show’s cancellation came on 19 October, with a statement directly from Marvel and Netflix:

“Unfortunately, Marvel’s Luke Cage will not return for a third season. Everyone at Marvel Television and Netflix is grateful to the dedicated showrunner, writers, cast and crew who brought Harlem’s Hero to life for the past two seasons, and to all the fans who have supported the series.”

Additionally, sources for THR hinted that the cancellation was caused by creative differences, with the added wrinkle of nobody being able to agree to terms for a third season.

Why It Deserved A Future: Luke Cage season two was just as good as – if not better than – its brilliant first season, aided by another strong villain in Bushmaster and a compelling Mariah Dillard arc.

The fact that the showrunners were able to maintain such a high bar almost guaranteed that season three would be another quality bunch of episodes, so it’s odd that such a slam-dunk opportunity isn’t being taken.

Season two also ended on something of a cliffhanger. With Luke now in charge of Harlem’s Paradise, the stage was set for a much darker third season that might have seen him edge closer to becoming a villain. That sounds compelling, and ending season two this way clearly indicates that the showrunners had a plan; it’s just frustrating that they won’t get to execute it.

3. Disjointed


Why It Was Cancelled: A comedy about a middle-aged woman who employs her son to help her run a cannabis dispensary, Netflix decided to put Disjointed on the chopping block after a single two-part season.

As is customary, the streaming service didn’t provide a clear reason for this (they never release viewer numbers, either), but it’s possible that the show’s poor critical reception was a major factor in their decision.

Why It Deserved A Future: While critics hated Disjointed, audiences absolutely loved it: currently, the show sits at a 23% critic/82% audience rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

It definitely isn’t flawless, but with such a huge gap between critic and viewer opinion, Disjointed appears to have struck a chord with consumers. Those scores prove the audience was clearly present, and a second season could have refined the formula by fixing some of its weaker points (at 31 minutes, some episodes dragged on far too long, and the punchlines were frustratingly predictable at times).

One season sometimes isn’t enough for a show to find its footing, especially one that’s been designed for binge-watching. With critics generally left to watch every single episode in a short space of time (for review purposes), minor flaws become much more prominent. Disjointed is a fine example of this, and it could have flowered into something truly magnificent were it given more time to grow.

2. Bloodline


Why It Was Cancelled: Bloodline was cancelled in September 2016, with no clear reason given as to why.

However, around this time, THR published a report which hinted at friction between Netflix and Sony Pictures Television – the studio that actually produced the show. It was stated that Netflix cut the episode order for Bloodline’s third season from 13 down to ten, and also decided to slash its licensing fees.

So while a bad relationship between Netflix and Sony could be the real reason for Bloodline’s cancellation, we don’t really know for sure.

Why It Deserved A Future: Bloodline is one of the best-reviewed Netflix originals ever,with a peak Metacritic score of 75, a fresh Rotten Tomatoes average of 61 percent, and numerous Emmy nominations – and even a win. Each subsequent season wasreceived worse than the last, but a show as quality as this one (and as prestigious) seems like one you keep working on and perfecting, not just one you scrap.

The show had unfinished business, too. In the finale, John (expertly played by Kyle Chandler) faces his nephew and prepares to explain why he killed the kid’s dad. Right before this conversation takes place though, the screen fades to black and the show ends. Forever. This made the ending feel rushed and unsatisfying, and it was an odd place to leave things. A drama show that avoided showing us some heavy drama felt like an incredibly dumb decision.

Co-creator Todd A. Kessler did try to justify this ending by saying that he wanted the audience to “pick up where that leaves off”, but this weak excuse made it clear that Bloodline was ended before its time, with that aforementioned studio friction possibly rushing Kessler into crafting a lacklustre finale. Bloodline deserved a much better sendoff than the one it got.

1. Iron Fist


Why It Was Cancelled: Iron Fist suffered the same fate as his teammate Luke Cage, only a week earlier. Cancelled soon after its second wave of episodes launched on Netflix, the show’s demise came as a huge shock to fans, especially considering the massive improvement from season one to season two.

Despite this leap in quality though, Iron Fist is generally everyone’s least-favourite Defender, and it’s possible that Netflix considered his show among the least-important out of their Marvel superhero lineup.

Why It Deserved A Future: Iron Fist season two was much better than season one. Danny Rand himself was less brash, less stupid, and less, well, annoying, and it really felt like Finn Jones had found his footing playing the character.

Plus, with an awesome ending – Danny sporting dual Iron Fists while hunting Orson Randall, and Colleen fighting crime in New York with a magic punch of her own – the series had set itself up for a tantalising season three. Not getting to see that feels like the showrunners raised their game in season two for no reason, with Iron Fist getting cut off just as it began to show shades of brilliance.

However, we’d be crazy to not mention the possibility that Netflix has cancelled Iron Fist/Luke Cage because they’re planning on doing a Heroes For Hire team-up show, or even a Daughters Of The Dragon spinoff with Colleen. But if that is the case… why even announce that they’ve been cancelled? Why not just announce Heroes For Hire up front? Why is Finn Jones posting teases like this?!

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All things considered, there’s a good chance that Luke Cage and Iron Fist – the characters – could live on, whether in a combined show, the Disney streaming service, or in Daredevil/Jessica Jones/The Defenders. But with no confirmation of anything like that just yet, we’re left with the raw disappointment of the cancellation instead.

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