If a TV series could survive longer than 6 seasons, it is qualified to be called as a successful one. However, longevity may not be one of the factors which will determine whether the show is great or not after streaming medium like Netflix steps in the battle.
Netflix normally does not value the show that exceeds 30 episodes (about 2 to 3 seasons). Driven by data, Netflix does the research based on its powerful algorithms, which reveals that a show lasting 2 to 3 seasons hardly bring new viewers.
An observer from Deadline commented “as an asset, having 30 episodes of a series (three seasons) is considered enough to satisfy viewers discovering the show. Tacking on more episodes does not add significant value”.
Talking about cancellation decision, Netflix’s head of original content Cindy Holland explained that “it’s a combination of things. When we’re investing, we decide how much to invest based on the audience that will show up. If the audience doesn’t show up, we think about the reason to continue to invest in something that doesn’t do as well as we had hoped. Obviously, critical acclaim is important too, but we’re really about trying to stretch our investment dollars as far as we can and make good on our investors’ money – it’s theirs, not ours”.
Getting expensive is another possible reason that some widely-praised shows are put on the list of cancellation. The producing fee has something to do with Netflix’s way to structure the contract. “Cost-plus model”, as it is called, “offers to pay upfront a show’s production costs plus a premium of 30%+ of the cost”.
Best Reviewed TV Shows Were Cancelled by Streaming Medium This Year
- Tuca and Bertie — Netflix, canceled after 1 season
A hornbill named Tuca is at her 30s, sharing the apartment with her sister Bertie, a nightingale at the same age. Tiffany Haddish voices arrogant, light-hearted Tuca and Ali Wong voices the anxious daydreamer Bertie. The show is characterized both by realistic and unrealistic representations. There is no way the birds could lead a life like we human being, but what bothers Bertie and Tuca is actually what we may suffer in real life. The style is like The BoJack Horseman. Lisa Hanawalt, the producer of The BoJack Horseman also participates in this show. The critics from Polygon say that “Tuca & Bertie handled a wide range of emotion in just one short season with the utmost humor and heart — and seeing it canceled before it even had a chance to grow is a blow to fans”.
- One Day at a Time — Netflix, canceled after 3 seasons
This is a remake show, focusing on the living of three generations under one roof. The gap between generations sparks the comical elements, so does the conflicts between a divorced mom and her teenager children. The show is diversified by the infusion of Cuban ethnic and cultural background. The Atlantic comments that “the heartbeat of One Day at a Time was its spirited insistence that beauty can thrive alongside pain. The series blended multicam-sitcom laughs with a fearless willingness to tackle heavy social issues”.
- Swamp Thing — DC Universe, canceled after 1 season
It is a big surprise Swamp Thing will not continue. Abby Arcane goes back home for investigation of a virus in swamp and then pull a string of mysterious and dark secrets which change her life totally. Supernatural elements, monster evil and humanity are focus and spotlight of this show.
- Counterpart — Starz, canceled after 2 seasons
One person, two worlds, two kinds of life. These are key words for Counterpart. According to Insider, 100% and 90% are for critic score and audience respectively. Howard Silk, played by Emmy Award winner J.K. Simmons, is originally an ordinary person in his working agency. He accidently finds out the gate guarded by his organization can lead to a parallel dimension where he is a top spy. Dark secrets, dangers, and heart-broken love stories intertwine as the gate opens and closes. J.K. Simmons’ performance is highly praised by New York Times, which claims that “beyond its artfully chilly atmosphere and its surprisingly plausible and suspenseful narrative, the main attraction in Season 2 remains J.K. Simmons’s crafty, quiet portrayal of the two spies”.
- Santa Clarita Diet — Netflix, canceled after 3 seasons
Starred by Drew Barrymore and Timothy Olyphant, the show is about how a middle-class couple in Santa Clarita, California handle the huge turn in their life. After a dramatic accident, the wife Sheila is more and more indulged to diet consisting of blood and flesh. Her husband shows his love and support to the bloody wife by hunting and killing people and then serving for her. The show wraps contemplation about love, communication, and marriage with horrific elements in a comical way. There is a survey showing that 94% look forward to know what happens next, which echoes critics from Collider that “while season three is the richest and most layered look at marriage and mortality yet, ‘Santa Clarita Diet’ remains gloriously easy watching”.