The final, feature-length episode of Sense8 will be a “fantastic, fitting conclusion” for fans according to Netflix’s vice president for Original Content Cindy Holland.
The Netflix exec said that the streaming service was “happy to be able to support” the final episode of the axed sci-fi series, but explained that in the end the decision to cancel Sense8 was based on the viewing figures not matching up to the budget required to continue making the show.
“We’re really pleased to provide an ending for Sense8. For us, I still take those decisions [to cancel] very seriously when we’re making them,” Holland said during Netflix’s See What’s Next series showcase in Rome.
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“[Sense8] I believe in particular has a very important message and is a very important series for a lot of fans around the world. We were gratified to see so much fan love, and we were happy to be able to support what I think all the fans around the world will agree is going to be a fantastic, fitting conclusion for it,” she continued.
Explaining the decision to cancel Sense8, Holland said that the decision was based on having to balance “audience size and budget”.
“At some point if you don’t have the viewership showing up to justify the expense of the series, you’re going to want to end it,” she said.
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Netflix’s huge growth in original shows has also meant that the company has been been quicker to axe under-performing series than in the past. 2017 saw major series including Sense8 and The Get Down axed along with shows like Girlboss and Gypsy after just one season.
Sense8 however earned a reprieve after a huge fan backlash, with Netflix announcing a two-hour special in order to give the show a satisfactory ending.
Speaking about the challenge of managing budgets for original series, Holland explained how Netflix uses a series of projection models to predict the potential size of the audience and the show’s chances of success.
“I have turned down some projects because of budget,” Holland said. “How we think about sizing up projects and whether we can afford the proposed budget is we have a series of projection models that we can enter in attributes about the series: who might be in it, the people involved, the genre. And we can predict a minimum threshold sized audience. That helps us back into what kind of size budget we can support.”
Sense8 star Freeman Agyeman told RadioTimes.com last year that she hoped the two-hour special provides closure for fans who may have felt “cheated” by the show being cancelled on a cliffhanger.