The Netflix honeymoon is over. Last week, CEO Reed Hastings said that the streaming service should be canceling more shows. The next day, Netflix canceled the Wachowskis’ sprawling sci-fi epic Sense8. The week before, the ax came down on Baz Luhrmann’s hip-hop musical The Get Down. In terms of expense, Netflix’s decisions are understandable. Sense8 shot around the globe. The Get Down cost millions per episode. But in terms of optics, canceling two series built around inclusive casts caused speculation that the service isn’t as much about total creative freedom as it once purported, especially since Netflix has resisted canceling so many other original series. Before these recent cancellations, only a few shows — including Bloodline, Marco Polo, Lilyhammer, and Hemlock Grove — have had their runs ended early.
Now, what else might be on the cutting block?
This series, a Will Arnett–led sad-com about life in Venice, California, tops most lists (specifically our list) of Netflix shows you forgot existed. Despite poor reviews and less buzz than day-old kombucha, Flaked got a second season, which premiered June 2 this year. The series probably isn’t burning a hole in Netflix’s pocket, but if they want to do away with shows that aren’t pulling in subscribers, this might be an easy cut.
Netflix’s big, fancy French investment in Gérard Depardieu did secure a second season, but given that the show hasn’t garnered much attention in France, and is generally not very good, it might easily fall into the Bloodline early retirement plan. Plus, the site’s got other shows to serve the French market: Netflix has already lined up a second French original, Osmosis.
Marvel’s Iron Fist
Given that Netflix has invested heavily in its Marvel original series, it’s unlikely that this controversial and critically underwhelming spoke of the great Defenders wheel will ever get formally canceled. Danny Rand will, of course, join up with Luke Cage, Jessica Jones, et al. in the Avengers-style Defenders and any next installments thereof. But if Netflix wants to quietly phase out Danny Rand, they could keep making Jessica Jones, Daredevil, and Luke Cage seasons between installments of the Defenders and just kinda forget to revisit Iron Fist.
At this point, it’s fairly rare for a Netflix show to premiere without some sort of buzz about future installments, but since the Sophia Amoruso series Girlboss came out in April, there’s been no official confirmation of a second season. Partly, that’s because Girlboss didn’t get good reviews, and more importantly (who cares about reviews?), got lost amid the flood of other shows Netflix debuted this spring. As much potential as there is in a second-season turnaround, Girlboss could be a likely candidate for early dismissal. [Update: Girlboss was cancelled on June 25, 2017.]
Rob Schneider’s Netflix sitcom you may have forgotten about got the go-ahead for a second season this spring, according Schneider himself. On the one hand, Netflix might be eager to trim down its selection of cookie-cutter dude comedies. On the other, perhaps the right-wing furor over ABC’s cancellation of Last Man Standing has made the the thought of ticking off fans of a conservative perspective less appealing.
House of Cards
Netflix’s first original series has cut a ruthless swath through politics and plausibility for five seasons, but at what point does the Underwoods’ plotting get stale? Creator Beau Willimon left after season four. Kevin Spacey earns at least half a million an episode, while Robin Wright earns (regrettably) a little less. While season six of the show is already in the works, one can’t help but wonder: When does this get too expensive?