Just six weeks after its premiere on Netflix, the sci-fi/mystery series 1899 was cancelled. Following a string of recent season cancellations, TV fans are taking notice, accusing Netflix of abandoning new shows before they get a chance to shine.
While Netflix’s ratings data is notoriously difficult to analyze, we know it 1899 was popular. It consistently ranked second on Netflix’s list of English-language shows for its first three weeks. It stayed in the top 10 through Week 5. After witnessing this seemingly successful run, fans are left stunned and frustrated by the show’s abrupt end — and this, in turn, leads to wider criticism of Netflix’s abandonment trends.
If even the most visibly popular shows aren’t safe, then why bother viewers to get invested in long-form dramas? Right now, it feels like Netflix is canceling most new shows within weeks or months of release.
In 2022, Netflix canceled numerous new shows within weeks or months of release, including resident Evilthe legal drama partner trackthe sitcom led by Randall Park blockbusterand three supernatural YA dramas with queer leads: first kill, the midnight club, and The bastard son and the devil himself. Those last three cancellations drew particular criticism because the shows had already found fan bases online and Netflix has long been accused of not supporting queer and minority-run shows.
Aside from angering TV fans, these quick cancellations create an air of availability around projects that take years to develop and tens of millions of dollars to produce. In case of 1899this was a high-concept series from a creative team that had previously found success on Netflix with the sci-fi/thriller drama Dark. Like Archive 81 (another single-season cancellation in 2022), the story was full of twists and mysteries that made it clear that the creators expected to make more seasons.
Right now, Netflix’s quitting habits border on self-sabotage. Theoretically, the platform renews shows based on a combination of initial popularity and longevity — that is, whether shows continue to attract new viewers, rather than dwindling after a week or two. However, when Netflix gets a reputation for canceling shows willy-nilly, it discourages subscribers from watching new releases. Nobody wants to be left with a cliffhanger.
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*Initial publication: January 3, 2023 12:46 pm CST
Gavia Baker-Whitelaw is a staff writer at the Daily Dot, covering geek culture and fandom. Specializing in science fiction films and superheroes, she also appears as a film and television critic on BBC radio. Elsewhere, she is the co-host of the pop culture podcast Overinvested. Follow her on Twitter: @Hello_Tailor
https://www.dailydot.com/unclick/netflix-1899-cancelled-backlash/ After the cancellation of “1899”, Netflix was criticized for canceling individual seasons