Backlash as Netflix cancels five shows at once including its ‘best series’

‘Why make shows if you’re just not gonna finish them?’ one angry viewer wrote

Jacob Stolworthy
Tuesday 21 November 2023 05:35 GMT
Shadow and Bone trailer

Netflix has just cancelled five TV shows unceremoniously one week after the conclusion of the actors’ strikes.

Now the Hollywood strikes are over, networks and streaming services are having to make decisions about their existing properties, with it being expected that many might fall foul of an untimely axing due to rising costs after production on all projects was stalled while the writers and actors protested for fairer compensation.

Days later, Netflix has gone ahead and culled five shows, one of which was a number one hit and had a fervent fanbase that campaigned for a season renewal: Shadow and Bone.

While the first season of the fantasy series, adapted from Leigh Bardugo’s Grishaverse novels, did big business for Netflix – even spawning a video game spin-off – season two struggled to break through in a major way, which is believed to have led to the service’s decision considering the show’s large budget.

Other shows that will no longer return include animated shows Agent Elvis and Captain Fall as well as Kim Cattrall-starring series Glamorous and sci-fi comedy Farzar.

Reflecting on Shadow and Bone’s cancellation on Instagram, Bardugo said she was “heartbroken and deeply disappointed” by the news.

However, she said she had “gratitude”, stating: “Most authors never get to see their work adapted. Many who do end up regretting the experience. I’m one of the very few who can look at an adaptation with pride and tremendous joy.”

The fans are criticising the decision, though, with many questioning the streaming service’s motives.

Writer Hector Navarro wrote: “Do not, for any reason, ever fall in love with a Netflix TV show. They kill them at the first chance they have,” with @LibertySpider adding: “Why make shows if you’re just not gonna finish them?”

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@MhayYhusuf called the series "the best show on the platform", with @JPipo86 writing: “Ah man, I was looking forward to a conclusion. Oh well.”

Archie Renaux in cancelled Netflix series ‘Shadow and Bone’

Shadow and Bone stars starring Ben Barnes, Jessie Mei Li and Archie Renaux. After the release of season two earlier this year, viewers called upon Netflix to renew the series for another season amid uncertainty over its future.

In the past, the service has cancelled a number of popular series after the two-season mark, such as Sense8 and Altered Carbon.

Earlier this year, the streamer shocked viewers by declining to renew 1899 for a second season, despite the fact that the German-language thriller had featured prominently in the Top 10.

Following the announcement, a petition was launched by a fan, unsuccessfully calling on Netflix to agree to a U-turn and renew the series.

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