Recently, a study revealed that streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime cancelled almost all of their series in the first three seasons. This put a spotlight on a number of series axed in their first few years, including Netflix's Chambers and Amazon's The Tick and Sneaky Pete.
If you fall in love with a show, though, few things are more heartbreaking than to see it go away after just one season (trust me -- I know). Still, it is part of the process at streaming networks and likely will not change anytime soon.
Recently, our sister site, PopCulture.com, crafted a list of Netflix series that ended after just one year, and we wanted to take a look at them and see how the heartbreak was reflected back on the geek audience.
You can check out the choices below. Did we miss any big ones? Hit us up in the comments or tweet at me (@RussBurlingame) to let me know.
Cashing in on Wolf's notoriety after an unexpectedly controversial turn as the entertainment at the White House Correspondents' Dinner, Netflix brought her in as part of their short-lived effort to break in to the late night TV landscape. The attempt was a failure, and within a span of just a few months, Netflix cancelled Wolf's series, Chelsea Handler's talk show Chelsea, and The Joel McHale Show, which we will get to later.
The Talk ran for only 10 episodes, and while Netflix enjoyed promoting the series while Wolf was the talk of DC, the series had been promoted and marketed as a lighter, funnier, less political style of late night humor than Wolf's time at The Daily Show had offered, so the company was at a loss to properly promote it when Wolf had suddenly become a household name -- but one that was poltically polarizing.
Everything Sucks!, a teen comedy in the vein of Freaks and Geeks, had a lot going for it -- but buzz wasn't part of the package. The series's first season, starring a talented and diverse young cast, dropped in February 2018, but it was less than three months later when Netflix confirmed in April of that year that there would be no second season.
Based on a classic Russian film called The Major, Seven Seconds was critically praised, offering one of the streamer's best efforts at a crime drama. In the series, when 15-year-old black cyclist Brenton Butler dies in a hit-and-run accident -- with a white police officer behind the wheel of the vehicle -- Jersey City explodes with racial tension. This crime drama explores the aftermath of the accident, which includes an attempted cover-up by the police department and a volatile trial. Assistant prosecutor KJ wants to prosecute the hit-and-run as a hate crime, in addition to a negligent homicide. The longer the case drags on without a resolution, the more tense the situation becomes. Emmy winner Regina King stars as Brenton's churchgoing mother, Latrice.
Like Everything Sucks!, the series debuted to little fanfare in February 2018 and was quietly cancelled the following April.
There's an asterisk here becuase while most of the world got Nightflyers as a Netflix exclusive (and the series was co-produced with them), the sci-fi epic aired in the U.S. on SYFY, and they had a hand in the show's cancellation as well.
The series, from Game of Thrones co-creator George R.R. Martin, was based on a novella, so one could argue that ten hours of prestige TV is not a bad return on that source material...but its fans were not ready for it to go and, given the massive success of Thrones, it is hard to spin only a season from Martin's next project as anything but a disappointment.
The Get Down, from creator Baz Luhrmann (director of Moulin Rouge and the Leonardo DiCaprio version of Romeo + Juliet), was a huge investment for Netflix, and one that seemed to pay off, as it drove conversation for a long time after it premiered. With no offiical ratings numbers ever released, word of mouth is all we have to judge Netflix shows by sometimes, and this one had a lot of that -- almost all positive.
The show boasted a star-studded cast, including rapper Nas as its narrator and Shameik Moore (Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse) as one of its stars. Also appearing were Justice Smith, who starred in Detective Pikachu, and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, best known as Black Manta in the massive hit comics adaptation Aquaman.
The psychological thriller Gypsy starred acclaimed actors Naomi Watts (A History of Violence) and Billy Crudup (Watchmen) in a series that saw Watts portray Jean, a therapist in New York with a successful practice and a life that seems picturesque. As Jean starts to develop intimate and illicit relationships with the people in her patients' lives, the borders of her professional life and personal fantasies become blurred. Jean descends into a world where reality and the forces of her desires are disastrously at odds, which impacts her life and the lives of those around her.
At the time, much was made of the speed with which Netflix cancelled Gypsy -- just six weeks after its debut -- but it seems as though the streamer thinks that is plenty of time to get its head around the numbers these days. As evidenced by Everything Sucks! and Seven Seconds the following year, Netflix doesn't need more than a couple of months to know whether or not they are going to invest in more of a show.
In The Good Cop, Big Tony is a lovable, but not exactly honorable, former NYPD officer who never followed the rules. He lives with his son, TJ, a straight-laced NYPD detective who always follows the rules, while solving Brooklyn's toughest cases. They may be an odd couple but they become unofficial partners with Tony Sr. offering his overly cautious son blunt, street-wise advice. Emmy nominee Tony Danza stars as the elder officer in his first starring role on a sitcom since the late 1990s, and Grammy nominated-singer Josh Groban portrays Tony Jr. in his first regular sitcom role.
Despite leading men with inarguable appeal, The Good Cop was DOA. Perhaps audiences felt that the relationship between the characters was a little too similar to the one that ran for almost a decade on USA between Shawn Spencer (James Roday) and his father Henry (Corbin Bernsen) on Psych (albeith with the father/son roles reversed) -- or maybe it was Second Chance, the Frankenstein drama in which Robert Kazinsky played the (disgraced cop) father of (straight-laced cop) Tim DeKay's character, de-aged and enhanced by super-science.
When Netflix adapted Sophia Amoruso's autobiography #Girlboss into an original series, its 13-episode order came with a ton of buzz. While Netflix, a company that has always lived online, is usually pretty good at converting buzz into an audience, we the Michele Wolf experience should indicate that it doesn't always work that way. It didn't here, either, and the show It told the story of Amoruso's company Nasty Gal, which she founded while working as a campus safety host at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco. The show came out in April of 2017, but it was canceled shortly after its release.
Netflix founder and CEO Reed Hastings said at the time, “I’m always pushing the content team: ‘We have to take more risk, you have to try more crazy things. Because we should have a higher cancel rate overall.’”
Girlboss might have been just a little bit too crazy of a thing, though; it earned just a 36% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and prompted Vanity Fair to ask, "Was Girlboss Netflix's first truly terrible show?"
Academy Award winner Kathy Bates starred in Disjointed, a comedy from Two and a Half Men's Chuck Lorre that followed a legal cannabis advocate who finally got what she had wanted all these years, only to find that running a marijuana dispensary was not all she expected it to be. The series' order was 20 episodes, and it was cancelled after that, although fans could be forgiven for thinking it had gone two seasons. Like The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, Netflix split the series order up into "Part One" and "Part Two" and released the season piecemeal.
Disjointed may be just one of a number of potentially great shows that could not crack the code as to how to make light of pot legalization. MTV launched Mary + Jane, a series with a similar premise, was also cancelled after one season. High Maintenance did somewhat better, but was not long-lived either. Last year, Kevin Smith headlined Hollyweed for the upstart Rivit TV. Rivit reportedly decided to move forward with a full series after the pilot, but we haven't heard anything new about it in almost a year.
Another victim of Netflix's short foray into latenight comedy programming, The Joel McHale Show With Joel McHale got twice as many episodes as The Talk With Michele Wolf, but was still cancelled at the same time, and perceived as the company (at least for now) waving a white flag on the format.
It also earned some scorn from critics and audiences who felt that McHale's traditional Talk Soup snark and mockery felt a little meaner and more out of place in a show that went after viral videos -- many of which featured everyday people, not celebrities.
All About the Washingtons was a full-blown multi-cam sitcom, with an impressive list of experienced writers, producers and stars. Nevertheless, it got just one season consisting of 10 episodes, which premiered on Aug. 10, 2018. The show's cancellation was announced in October, around the same time fans started to worry about the network's other high-profile multi-cam show, One Day at a Time (which was cancelled in March 2019).
Chambers, the supernatural horror series cancelled earlier this month, premiered in April and featured an all-star cast including Uma Thurman (Batman and Robin), Tony Goldwyn (The Belko Experiment), Sivan Alyra Rose and Marcus LaVoi.
After having a heart attack, a teenager gets a heart transplant to survive. She subsequently becomes consumed by the mystery surrounding her life-saving heart. As she gets closer to uncovering the truth about her donor's sudden death, she begins to take on the characteristics of the deceased donor, including some that are troublingly sinister. Creator Leah Rachel describes the series -- which stars Oscar nominee Uma Thurman -- as "a psychological horror story that explores the different ways we metabolize trauma."
The first (and only) season is available now on Netflix.
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