March 25th, 2019

Winter Sunlight

The ratings dance

Interesting article found via [personal profile] umadoshi: Why Netflix Cancels Shows After A Couple Of Seasons.

This is a little bit heartbreaking, especially for that part of me that is really not over losing the Marvel TV universe, but it's also fascinating from a business standpoint. I'm not sure how much of this is certain and how much is merely speculation, but if they're right, it looks like the current evolution of Netflix's business model makes it very unlikely for Netflix to continue to renew their original shows beyond their second or at absolute maximum their third season, unless they're not just a runaway hit, but a particular kind of runaway hit (the kind that brings in award nominations).

It's comforting in a way, because it makes the cancellation of my particular shows feel a little less arbitrary and unfair, a little more like the grit-your-teeth-and-bear-it inevitability of quirky or unusual shows falling victim to TV's endless money-focused ratings dance. It looks like Netflix's brief era of being more creatively driven has started to roll into their own version of the ratings dance, with perhaps even less likelihood of shows surviving beyond their first couple of seasons (or, at least, a different kind of odds).

The article also talks about why it's now much less likely to borderline impossible for shows cancelled by one streaming service to jump to another ... but let's face it, the whole idea of cancelled shows being "saved" by cable or Netflix is pretty recent; that never used to be a thing.

So yeah, it's an interesting article, and it simultaneously salves some of my hurt feelings over certain recent show cancellations while also hurting in whole new ways. I also feel like this is useful information to know about Netflix original series going forward - a second season is likely if the show is a success, but beyond that, things get extremely dicey, and the odds of Netflix shows going on for four or more seasons are really low these days, no matter how well they're doing.

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