In 2019, Netflix began to wield the axe on its ever-expanding library of original shows.
First, the streaming service cancelled its two remaining Marvel series, The Punisher and Jessica Jones.
This was to be expected given that Netflix’s other Marvel series had previously been axed.
However, this decision was closely followed by the cancellation of Friends from College – and fans began to worry that their favourite show could be next.
In response to a tweet about the sudden glut of cancellations, Netflix posted, “Cancelling shows is always painful – but it’s also a very careful, case-by-case decision.”
In truth, none of this is truly out of step with Netflix’s cancellation policy in recent years.
Netflix has tended to cull shows that underperform in a cost-benefit analysis, just like any other network.
Friends From College has a pretty stacked cast of stars, and evidently it wasn’t deemed enough of a hit to justify what is likely a very high wage bill. It follows in the footsteps of Sense8, Gypsy and The Get Down.
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Netflix cancelled shows in 2019
Marvel’s Jessica Jones & The Punisher These two series were cancelled by Netflix at the start of 2019, joining their colleagues Daredevil, Iron Fist and Luke Cage. This marks the end of a five-year partnership between Marvel and Netflix, and coincides with the launch of Disney+ – a dedicated streaming service from Marvel’s parent company Disney.
Friends from College The comedy, which stars Keegan Michael Key, Cobie Smulders, Fred Savage and Nat Faxon as old uni mates, was cancelled within weeks of the release of season two.
Nightflyers The series based on George RR Martin’s novella of the same name was axed by its US network SyFy, so this was not a Netflix decision, despite the show airing on the service in the UK. It is as yet unclear whether Netflix – a co-producer and international distributor – will opt to pick it up for further episodes.
American Vandal The surprisingly affecting comedy with a very silly premise – the first season was about a teen who was wrongfully accused of spray-painting penises on every car in a high school parking lot – will not be returning for a third outing. “We’re very grateful to the creators, writers, cast and crew for bringing their innovative comedy to Netflix, and to the fans and critics who embraced its unique and unconventional humor” Netflix said in a statement.
One Day at a Time This one caused uproar on social media. The sitcom, which follows three generations of a Cuban-American family was beloved by fans and critics, but Netflix decided not to commission a fourth season.
“We spent several weeks trying to find a way to make another season work but in the end simply not enough people watched to justify another season,” a correspondent for Netflix wrote via the streaming service’s official Twitter account.
The Good Cop This buddy comedy with Tony Danza and Josh Groban came and went without much fanfare last year – and it will not be returning for more episodes.
Santa Clarita Diet Drew Barrymore will have to find another source of income after her zombie sitcom was laid to rest. “Netflix took at chance on this odd show and for that we will always be grateful,” co-creators Victor Fresco and Tracy Katsky said in a statement. “They were supportive, ever positive, and appreciative of our work. Until about noon today.”
Travelers Eric McCormack’s sci-fi series will go no further. “Who knows what the future holds, but Travelers Program 1, as we call it, is complete” the actor said in a Twitter announcement. “Much love from 3468 in the 21st.”
Happy! Grant Morrison’s black comedy was cancelled by US network SyFy (it is a Netflix Original outside of the USA), meaning its second season will be its last.
Chambers This teen thriller – which featured Uma Thurman in a supporting role – has been shut down after its first run, according to Variety.
Tuca & Bertie This one has caused lots of upset on social media. Netflix announced that it would not be renewing the female-led animation from BoJack Horseman illustrator Lisa Hanawalt just a few days before a three season renewal for Nick Kroll’s Big Mouth was revealed. Timing, it would seem, is not their strong point.
Designated Survivor After reviving this show following its cancellation by US network ABC, Netflix has ended it once and for all. “I think it’s time for us all to go and find something new to do,” Kiefer Sutherland said. No hard feelings, then.
The OA Netflix caused much upset by canning this divisive drama after two seasons. “Zal and I are deeply sad not to finish this story,” creator Brit Marling said in a statement on Instagram. “It’s been an intense journey for everyone who worked on and cared about this story.”