Thought Netflix Was a Champion In Cancelling Shows? It's Not Even Close
Netflix gets a bad rap for canceling shows, but turns out it's undeserved.
It's no secret that Netflix has had a tense relationship with its subscribers over the past few years. While policies like the infamous password sharing hack certainly don't help the streaming service, Netflix is especially notorious for canceling shows. Still, the Netflix executives claim they never cancels successful ones (many fans would beg to differ, though).
However, you will be surprised to learn that Netflix is not even among the top three streaming services that cancel projects more often than others. Unexpectedly, according to Variety's research, Max, owned by Warner Bros. and HBO, took first place. The platform canceled a quarter of its projects – 26.9%.
Max cancels some shows due to low popularity. For example, Westworld was too expensive for the studio, especially compared to its declining ratings.
The show was canceled after its fourth season. HBO's decision was announced three months after the last episode aired. At the same time, the show's creators were planning five seasons and had already decided on the story's ending.
The number of viewers, as well as the rating of critics, decreased every year. If the first season was rated positively by 87% of critics on Rotten Tomatoes, then the fourth season received 76%. The series currently has an 8.5 rating on IMDb.
Another successful project recently canceled by Max is Gossip Girl, which was released in July 2021. The remake of the famous teen series was canceled after two seasons: the final episode was released on January 26, 2023. Upon its premiere, the show set an HBO Max record for the most-watched original series.
In addition, after the merger of Discovery and WarnerMedia, CEO David Zaslav decided to save $3.5 billion. As a result, the company has reduced the number of series in development and some have been even canceled. For example, the cancellation of Batgirl, which had already been filmed and was in post-production, caused a huge stir.