Can Netflix Revive Cancelled Shows?

Can Netflix Revive Cancelled Shows?
17 Jun 2024

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There’s nothing worse than falling in love with the show, and then watching it get canceled with the story left unfinished. Ok, we can think of several worse things, but this one sits pretty high on our list. But hey. It’s Netflix. The company with an unfortunate reputation for surprise cancellations, sometimes even axing beloved titles after only a season or two. Luckily, riled-up fans aren’t always willing to let their favorites disappear without a fight. This brings us to the question: Can Netflix revive ditched shows, and has this ever happened before?

Why do Shows Get Cancelled in the First Place?

Long story short, success doesn’t always equal profit. Sure, viewership numbers and online hype might make a show seem like it’s printing cash, but things behind the curtain can be a whole different ballgame. Here’s the hard truth: even successful shows aren’t always profitable. There are more examples than you may think!

One major factor behind cancellations is sky-high production costs. Think historical dramas with elaborate sets, shows heavy on special effects, or those featuring big Hollywood names – those price tags add up fast. If the early buzz doesn’t translate into a consistently large audience, the cost of making each episode might outweigh the revenue it brings in. Sadly, there’s no shortage of shows that fall into this category either.

Lastly, licensing deals and syndication rights can create complicated financial webs. After all, most of these shows are global. A show might be popular with viewers but have restrictive distribution deals that limit its earning potential. The result? Even beloved shows can get the axe if they don’t meet those elusive financial benchmarks, leaving fans baffled. More often than not, companies don’t even bother to give all the details.

Netflix is Infamous for Cancelling Shows (and Removing Movies)

Netflix is infamous for canceling shows, often way too fast. We just get hooked on a series, start really caring about the characters, and it’s gone. Happened more than once. Sometimes they even end on cliffhangers. Obviously, they want to put out the good stuff, but it’s not fun getting invested in something and then having it disappear out of nowhere. You start to wonder if it’s even worth getting excited about new Netflix shows because who knows how long they’ll last. The same goes for the movies. One day you can watch them, the other you can’t. Even if a movie is available in one country, it doesn’t mean you can watch it in yours. Take 21 for example, a well-known casino flick with a blackjack theme, starring Kevin Spacey. We saw it appear on Netflix one day, but it wasn’t long before it mysteriously disappeared from the library. Well, nothing unusual, online casinos are also known for pulling games from their libraries, but if anything else, they also revive/reintroduce them through updated versions. Blackjack for sure witnessed several revivals in the form of live blackjack studio and other versions. Netflix, take note, please!

To Answer the Question…

Fans left heartbroken by Netflix’s cancellation spree always have that nagging question: could their favorite show somehow get a second life? The answer isn’t a simple yes or no, but it’s happened before. Think back to that show Fox dropped, the one starring the devilishly charming fallen angel… yeah, that one. And as it seems, it may even get a movie!

Revivals, however, are less common than fans might hope. There are several reasons for this. Things like licensing deals, how much it costs to make the show, and when it was canceled all play a role. If Netflix doesn’t completely own the rights, talks with other studios can get tricky. Plus, Netflix has a strange approach – if a show doesn’t immediately blow up when it’s released, the chance of bringing it back gets smaller and smaller over time.

The current streaming climate is probably to blame. It’s becoming increasingly competitive, which adds another layer. For that reason, Netflix is probably even more selective about which canceled shows get a second chance. On the other hand, if a canceled show sparks interest on a rival platform, Netflix might be incentivized to revisit its potential. Or at least, let’s hope it does.


Craig Silva

Craig is a passionate and seasoned travel, food, and lifestyle writer, whose words paint vivid pictures of the world's most captivating destinations. His work not only inspires others to embark on their own adventures but also fosters a deep appreciation for the beauty and diversity of our world. He captures the essence of each locale, offering readers a glimpse into the cultures, landscapes, cuisine, and experiences that make travel so enriching. Craig is a member of the Society of American Travel Writers (SATW) and the International Travel Writers Alliance (ITWA). If you are a PR agency or brand and would like Craig to review a travel destination, vehicle, restaurant, product or service, please send him an email.

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