Netflix Blindsides Fans by Canceling 4 Comedies at Once

Netflix has no problem finding successful dramas and limited series, but the streaming giant's [...]

Netflix has no problem finding successful dramas and limited series, but the streaming giant's ongoing search for its next big sitcom hit will continue. On Friday, Netflix admitted defeat by canceling four sitcoms all at once, including one starring Kevin James and another featuring comedian Gabriel Iglesias. The Crew and Country Comfort are ending after one season, while Mr. Iglesias and Bonding are ending with two seasons, reports Deadline. The move came a few days after the streamer canceled Jamie Foxx's Dad Stop Embarrassing Me.

The Crew starred James as the crew chief of a NASCAR garage and debuted in February. The show was James' first major television flop, as he previously fronted CBS' The King of Queens for nine seasons and CBS' Kevin Can Wait for two. James has also been featured in two of Adam Sandler's Netflix movies, Hubie Halloween and Sandy Wexler. The Crew was created by Jeff Lowell and also starred Sarah Stiles, Freddie Stoma, Dan Ahdoor, and Gary Anthony Williams. James still has a development deal with Netflix, so he will likely star in another series for the company.

Country Comfort was essentially The Nanny with country music, as it starred Katharine McPhee as a former country singer who becomes a nanny and falls in love with the children's father, played by Eddie Cibrian. LeAnn Rimes, who is married to Cibrian, appeared in an episode. The series was created by Caryn Lucas and debuted in March.

Mr. Iglesias ran two seasons, released in three parts between June 2018 and December 2020. Iglesias starred as a Long Beach history teacher who works for his alma mater. Sherri Shepherd, Richard Gant, and Maggie Geha also starred. It was created by sports columnist Kevin Hench. Iglesias does have another stand-up special in the works for Netflix.

The last series canceled was Bonding, created and directed by Rightor Doyle. The show starred Zoe Levin as a psychology student who moonlights as a dominatrix. Brendan Scannell co-starred as her best friend and assistant. Bonding's two seasons were released between April 2019 and January. Doyle also has a development deal with Netflix.

Netflix had early success in the sitcom realm with Grace and Frankie, The Ranch, Fuller House, and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, but comedy has proven to be a tough egg to crack for Netflix. It's possible that its system of skipping traditional pilots doesn't work for comedies, especially multi-cameras. During the pilot process, network executives have time to see if a comedy has at least the germ of a good idea before going ahead and ordering an entire season. Netflix doesn't do this, so an entire 10-episode season can effectively act as a whole "pilot season" for a sitcom. Netflix did pick up Family Reunion for a second season and ordered more episodes of The Upshaws, so it's not all bad for Netflix comedies.