It has been a brutal year at Netflix, where the streaming service has had a lot of cancellations. As a burgeoning outlet in the entertainment industry, Netflix had a few golden years where its original programming seemed safe. Now, however, the cuts have begun, and they show no signs of stopping.
Netflix has come a long way from the DVD mailing service it started out as to the biggest name in streaming it has become. After helping to popularize streaming in general, the company started producing original shows and movies. In less than a decade, Netflix has become a megalithic force in the world of entertainment media.
Of course, not all of these shows could be a hit, and none could last forever. Netflix has just had to begin canceling its beloved original series in the last two years, and the floodgates are now open. These days, many fans feel that Netflix is too brutal with its cuts, taking away fan-favorites and cult-classics in service to the bottom line.
Some have even begun to note a pattern where Netflix originals reach an apparent threshold around their third season. The exact metrics Netflix uses are unclear, but one way or another the make or break moment comes at about Season 3.
In spite of complaints and petitions, Netflix has shown no signs of changing its practices, especially this year. The streaming giant has made 14 cuts this year -- some were apparently popular and others went away quietly. Either way, fans were left hanging.
Here is a list of shows Netflix has canceled so far in 2019.
All the pieces seemed to be in places for Netflix's ensemble sitcom Friends From College, including an A-list cast. For whatever reason, however, it went just two seasons before its cancellation back in February. As usual, the cancellation news came about a month after Season 2 dropped, once Netflix had had time to make sense of all the preliminary viewing data.
American Vandal was a mockumentary-style series following high school filmmakers Peter Maldonado (Tyler Alvarez) and Sam Ecklund (Griffin Gluck). It was a parody of crime documentaries, including Netflix's own Making a Murderer, only instead of a violent crime it investigated acts of juvenile vandalism.
The show was a huge hit in its first season, and then boldly changed most of its cast for the second. As beloved as the series was, it was canceled early this year.
Netflix's reboot of the classic sitcom One Day At a Time was in development for a long time, and it seemed to be a big investment for the company. After all of that, however, the show could not outlive the three-season curse.
Luckily, One Day At a Time is one of the only shows ever to get canceled at Netflix and picked up somewhere else, rather than vice versa. The show will be back on Pop TV sometime next year.
Netflix just released The Good Cop last year. The show starred Tony Danza and Josh Groban as a father-son police duo. Danza played the devil-may-care veteran while Groban was more by the books.
This seemed like an interesting premise, but that was not enough to carry it through. The show ended with just one season.
The all-star cast of Santa Clarita Diet found itself looking for work this spring after Netflix dropped the show. The horror-comedy enthralled audiences for three seasons, but that seemed to be enough as far as Netflix was concerned. Even zombies get full eventually.
Travelers was not, strictly speaking, a Netflix Original, although it did fall victim to the three-season curse. The Canadian series was distributed worldwide by Netflix, bringing an odd brand of sci-fi to a new generation.
Variety reported that Chambers was canceled after one season back in June. The teen drama seemed like a promising series, and even featured Uma Thurman in a supporting role.
“Chambers will not return for a second season,” a Netflix spokesperson said in a statement. “We’re grateful to creator and showrunner Leah Rachel for bringing this story to us and to her fellow executive producers Alfonso Gomez Rejon, Steve Gaghan from Super Emotional, Winnie Kemp and Wolfgang Hammer from Super Deluxe, and Jennifer Yale. We’re also thankful to the tireless crew, and to our incredible cast, especially Uma Thurman, Tony Goldwyn and talented newcomer Sivan Alyra Rose.”
Many hearts were broken when Netflix announced that Tuca & Bertie would not be returning for a second season. The female-led animated comedy came from illustrator Lisa Hanawalt, who worked on the streamer's hit BoJack Horseman.
This is one of the many instances in which Netflix subscribers took issue with the timing of their announcements. Tuca & Bertie was canceled just three days before Big Mouth, another crass animated hit, got a massive three-season pickup.
Netflix revived ABC's drama Designated Survivor after the network dropped it in Season 2. However, it appears that one year was enough for the streaming giant, which canceled the show this year.
“I think it’s time for us all to go and find something new to do,” star Kiefer Sutherland said at the time.
The OA had a long and dramatic journey through Netflix's pickup and cancellation process. The show was a huge success in its first season, but fans had to wait two years for another installment. After it finally came, Netflix canceled the show a few weeks later.
“Zal and I are deeply sad not to finish this story,” creator Brit Marling wrote on Instagram. “It’s been an intense journey for everyone who worked on and cared about this story.”
Netflix dropped all five of its Marvel Cinematic Universe tie-in shows one after another, from the end of 2018 into the beginning of 2019. Back in January, the streaming service canceled Jessica Jones and then The Punisher, officially ending Netflix's five-year-long partnership with Marvel Studios.
In fairness, many fans suspected that these cancellations had more to do with Marvel and its parent company, Disney, than they did with Netflix. Some outraged viewers even vowed not to subscribe to the forthcoming new service Disney+.
Finally, two shows that Netflix distributed in collaboration with SyFy were canceled this year as well: Nightflyers and Happy!.
The former was a surprise to many in the entertainment industry. Nightflyers was an adaptation of a novel by George R.R. Martin, the author behind the Game of Thrones book series A Song of Ice and Fire. However, in its web of international deals, there is still a chance the show could wrap up its existing storylines.
Meanwhile, Happy! is an adaptation of a comic book series written by Grant Morrison and illustrated by Darick Robertson. It followed a disgraced detective-turned-hitman who begins seeing a small unicorn that tries to lead him to solve crimes. The show went further than its source material did but ultimately was dropped after two seasons.