The Get Down has officially been put down by Netflix, with the streaming service announcing today that its ambitious hip-hop period piece drama will not get a second season. Since Netflix doesn’t release official viewing numbers, we may literally never know how the show actually performed by way of digital “ratings,” but we do know that Get Down was incredibly expensive. Variety reports that it carried a $120 million price tag overall to produce, with each episode costing $7.5 million. A bill like that would seem to make cancelation a very likely scenario, but in an interview with Vulture last year, creator Baz Luhrmann said that Sony and Netflix were entirely committed to advancing the story. “To be honest, we have already developed the opening of the next season,” Lurhmann said. “Sony and Netflix have been very driven about having a second season. There has been no question about that. They really want it.” One Netflix exec apparently even told him, “We are not in the habit of creating awesome characters and then throwing them away.”
Luhrmann had also already said that he was not going to return as showrunner for a hypothetical second season, and that he never planned to be in that role in the first place. So with the show’s primary creative force stepping back in addition to the steep price tag, it seems Netflix just couldn’t justify breaking in a new leader to bring The Get Down back. In response to the news, Luhrmann posted a long letter to Facebook about his experience with the show, and the abstract possibilities of its future. “I wanted to speak to you with an open heart and just acknowledge how humbled and moved that not only I, but all who have given so much to this production, have been by your passion and commitment to see the next chapter of The Get Down go back into production in the immediate future,” the director wrote. “The cast of this show is unique and exceptional. Apart from our stellar veteran actors, I can’t tell you how privileged we all felt to have found such young, new talents, many of whom are now starring in motion pictures, creating music, and taking tremendous strides in their careers.” You can read the full letter here.