It’s hard to believe that there was once a time where a Netflix cancellation was a rarity, now that the streaming service wields its dreaded axe so frequently.
Over the past few years, a number of critically acclaimed shows have met an untimely demise on the platform, as executives carefully examine which of their programmes are bringing in the most new subscribers.
Among the most controversial losses have been Marvel’s entire Defenders lineup, sci-fi favourite The OA, and animated series Tuca & Bertie, which recently found a new lease of life on Adult Swim.
The coronavirus pandemic has only made things more difficult for an original series to thrive, with mounting costs sending previously-renewed shows to the chopping block.
Among the casualties are young adult dramas The Society and I Am Not Okay With This, as well as beloved wrestling series GLOW, which fans are eagerly campaigning to revive.
Here’s your guide to the latest Netflix shows to be cancelled.
Netflix cancelled shows in 2020
GLOW Netflix’s wrestling drama halted production on its fourth season earlier this year due to the coronavirus pandemic. Rising costs associated with its sets and cast, as well as safety concerns over the spread of COVID-19, were all factors in the streamer’s shock decision to scrap it altogether.
The Society The young adult drama also had its renewal revoked, due to complications caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
I Am Not Okay With This This fantasy drama from the team behind The End of the F***ing World was expected to get a second season, but these plans were abandoned amid the chaos of COVID-19.
Teenage Bounty Hunters This teen comedy saw a moderately positive response from critics, but was cancelled after only its first season when it failed to draw in a large audience.
The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance The Emmy-winning fantasy series showcased some truly incredible puppet work, but couldn’t secure a second season on Netflix.
Altered Carbon This cyberpunk series had its fans, but could only muster a lukewarm critical reception and never reached the heights of popularity necessary for a third run.
Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj The acclaimed American talk show was a surprise cancellation from Netflix in August 2020, provoking outcry from comedy fans.
Turn Up Charlie Idris Elba’s DJ sitcom was in limbo for quite some time, but was officially cancelled in April 2020, more than a year after the first season debuted.
V-Wars The vampire drama starring Ian Somerhalder couldn’t survive past its first season.
October Faction Another fantasy series to meet an early end was October Faction, which was panned by critics and largely ignored by audiences.
Chilling Adventures of Sabrina The Riverdale spin-off will not return after its upcoming fourth season, nixing any hopes of an epic crossover.
Spinning Out Ice skating drama Spinning Out, starring Kaya Scodelario, was axed earlier this year.
Messiah After dropping on New Year’s Day and making some waves, Michelle Monaghan thriller Messiah proved to be one of Netflix’s first high-profile cancellations of the year.
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.
We’ve made the very difficult decision not to renew One Day At A Time for a fourth season. The choice did not come easily — 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.
— Netflix (@netflix) March 14, 2019
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.”