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14 Netflix Show Cancelations That Infuriated Fans

In the late 1990s, the eventual co-founders of Netflix were fresh off capitalizing on the dot-com boom and looking for another internet business to throw all their energy into. During a carpool where they discussed replicating the Amazon business model, they eventually decided on mailing DVDs. Despite such seemingly casual beginnings, after a few decades and several logos, Netflix has fundamentally altered how the film industry functions.

Netflix's co-founder saw streaming as the industry's future early on, and time proved him correct. Initially, Netflix acted as a repository for other studios' back catalogs of shows and films and thus became one of Hollywood's most successful players. Other major studios soon wanted a piece. The studios then began to take their properties away from Netflix. Fortunately, Netflix had already started the next phase of its strategy by hiring big-name filmmakers like David Fincher to create original shows like "House of Cards."

Netflix's next step was to fill its platform with as many diverse TV shows as it could afford. However, in what appears to be a case of a cat wanting fish but not willing to get its paws wet, they ended up canceling shows that needed a little more time to build an audience. Here are the cancelations that enraged fans the most.

1. Warrior Nun

When the world came to a halt in the summer of 2020, fans resorted to Netflix to get them through the ordeal. Netflix delivered by dropping some of the most important shows of the year, including "Warrior Nun." The drama starred Portuguese actor Alba Baptista as a young adult who awakens from the dead in a morgue and discovers she is now a member of an ancient order that hunts demons and maintains a balance between heaven and hell.

Fans needed escapism at the moment, and "Warrior Nun" fit the bill. The first season was a smash hit, and The Guardian even predicted that "Warrior Nun" might be the next "Stranger Things." The comparison was justified: it had a sizable viewership and a youthful fanbase that is still vociferous online to this day. The positive response prompted Netflix to develop a second season, which was even more favorably received, but the show was then abruptly canceled.

The same review in The Guardian correctly noted Netflix's tendency to shoot itself in the foot and cancel shows prematurely. Netflix seldom cites reasons for cancelations, but the co-CEO of the service acknowledged in an interview that they occasionally have shows with large budgets that end up bringing in few viewers. So it's safe to infer "Warrior Nun" needed a "Stranger Things" budget but, despite its apparent success, couldn't bring in "Stranger Things" viewership numbers.

2. Glow

Netflix occasionally cancels shows for reasons that have nothing to do with finances. For example, "Glow" was well-liked by fans and Netflix, and ran for three seasons, with a fourth and final season already guaranteed. "Glow" is set in 1980s Los Angeles and follows a down-and-out actress as she pivots her career into professional wrestling, where she finds community and fulfillment.

The show is fast-paced, hilarious, and has dramatic moments that justify its massive fan base, but the pandemic struck just as they started working on the final season, and everyone went on lockdown. Netflix soon confirmed that the last season had been canceled since they were still figuring out how to develop shows in the new environment that everyone had found themselves in.

Unlike the other entries on this list, "Glow" has already begun filming the final season. Alison Brie posted an on-set photo on Instagram, showing her excitement. She had been outstanding throughout the entire series and deserved a better send-off than what she received. Celebrity fans of the show expressed their disappointment on Twitter. However, the creators provided a sobering response, noting that, while they shared the fans' disappointment, the focus should be on the pandemic at the time.

3. Insatiable

Once Netflix established itself as a major player in the television sector, everyone was talking about how they needed to become the new HBO to dethrone HBO. Netflix went in a slightly different direction: Whereas HBO concentrates solely on prestige TV shows and prioritizes quality over quantity, Netflix prioritizes diversity and breadth. In that vein, they created "Insatiable," a low-brow high school comedy about an overweight girl who is frequently bullied and whose life changes when she goes on a mythical liquid diet. She's now attractive, and the power dynamics have shifted.

The show received harsh criticism from critics. The likes of Roxane Gay criticized the show's portrayal of its misfit characters as unoriginal. On Rotten Tomatoes, the show received a paltry 11% rating. Despite this near-universal censure from the critics, the series still received a second season, and some viewers continued to enjoy it, shortcomings and all. However, the show was canceled before a third season.

Alyssa Milano, the show's star, thanked viewers for sticking with them during the show's two seasons and reminded them that those seasons are still available on the service. Despite Milano's optimistic approach, fans were outraged. Ultimately, the critical response was simply too negative for Netflix to continue producing new seasons of the show.

4. Sense8

Early on in their commissioning of original programming, Netflix lured one of Hollywood's biggest names, the Wachowskis of "The Matrix" fame, to develop their first-ever TV show. "Sense8" premiered on Netflix in June 2015. The show revolves around eight strangers from various parts of the world who appear to be dealing with unrelated life issues, but whose connection gradually becomes apparent. The premise and characters instantly won over fans.

The links between the characters in the show, while frequently improbable, were what drew the most interest from the audience. The show's commitment to diversity was lauded by critics. According to film magazine Sight & Sound, "Sense8" avoided the usual outdated narratives about marginalized people to "focus on (and devise beautiful audiovisual strategies to represent) prostheses for profound, extended human connection that combine the physical, the psychic, and the cinematic."

Even though fans adored the show and critics recognized that it was smarter than most of its contemporaries, Netflix canceled it after two seasons. This sparked a public outcry that never seemed to subside. Netflix eventually succumbed to the pressure and produced a finale to provide closure to fans. Netflix even later asserted that it had learned from the experience in terms of premature show cancelations.

5. Santa Clarita Diet

The pairing of Timothy Olyphant and Drew Barrymore as a married couple in a zombie comedy sounds like a good bet. "Santa Clarita Diet" provided its audience with just that, and for three seasons, it was unquestionably one of Netflix's most under-appreciated gems. The show revolves around Drew Barrymore's character, who is a recently infected zombie attempting to navigate her strange new world, and how her husband and daughter assist her. The show's comedy is both grim and goofy.

The show never refrained from the gory parts of zombies, which some critics feared would alienate certain audience members who might otherwise relate to the everyday difficulties of suburban existence. Alison Herman provided a positive review for The Ringer, but also admitted that it's "a show with a premise so perverse, so gross, it threatens to alienate more than it compels." Ironically, toward the end of the same review, she added, "We may finally get to see what a cult show looks like without a 'tragically canceled' qualifier tacked in front." After three seasons, Netflix decided to axe the series.

Fans of the show were not pleased with the news. They were even grumpier than normal when Netflix announced the cancelation, questioning the other shows that Netflix continues to produce instead. Worst of all, the third and final season received a flawless 100% Rotten Tomatoes rating and ended on a cliffhanger.

6. Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj

Hasan Minhaj is one of his generation's most prolific and skilled comedians. Minhaj's major break came when he was hired as a writer and correspondent for Jon Stewart's "The Daily Show." Whenever he appeared on screen, he had flashes of brilliance and excellent comedic timing. Minhaj appeared to be ready for his talk show after a successful stand-up special and a change of host at "The Daily Show." Like many other "Daily Show" alumni, he chose to make his talk show equal parts political and informative.

The show paralleled his fellow alum's multiple Emmy-winning show "Last Week Tonight With John Oliver" in a lot of respects. However, Hasan Minhaj's show stood out because of its looser format; there was no desk and he didn't wear suits. He constantly embraced his identity; even if it meant having to critique the Indian government. It truly was a talk show for a new era of millennial viewers, and both critics and fans adored it.

After six seasons, Netflix opted not to renew the series. Minhaj was grateful for the show's run. Minhaj was named one of the Time 100 Most Influential People in the World, among many other accomplishments, so despite the cancelation, the show served its purpose. Netflix adhered to its standard policy of not offering explanations for cancelations.

7. On the Verge

Julie Delpy and adult romantic comedies go together like PB&J, largely thanks to her role in the "The Before Trilogy." When Julie Delpy's drama "On the Verge," about a group of L.A. friends in their 40s dealing with changing times and aging, was announced, fans were overjoyed.

Delpy's writing was at its best, capturing the natural way people talk in real life to the point where it felt almost as if the actors were improvising. The show was not universally praised by critics, but it did strike a chord in its portrayal of women approaching middle age, and even the toughest critics admitted as much.

Julie Delpy stated in a New York Times profile that she had been working on the script since 2013 and that the pandemic struck the world just as she began filming the show. The interruption caused her to reconsider the script, and she shifted the scenario to the era right before the pandemic. Ultimately, the show was unable to transcend its association with the era and was canceled, to the disappointment of some fans. Though fans implored Netflix to reconsider, the service rarely looks back.

8. 1899

When the teaser for "1899" initially debuted on YouTube, the premise and elegant cinematography had everyone buzzing, but it wasn't until audiences saw the tagline "From the creators of Dark" that excitement about the show hit a fever pitch. The show's creators are famous European filmmakers, and "Dark" was a smash hit, so when "1899" was announced as a show dealing with contemporary European sociopolitical issues in the form of a thriller set on a 19th-century ship transporting immigrants from Europe to New York, fans were ecstatic.

Their background in film gave the creators an affinity for three-act structures, and the aim of "1899" was to make three seasons, each dealing with a different aspect of the plot. "1899" received mostly positive reviews, with some critics expressing frustration with the series' opacity but ultimately trusting the two creators' steady hands. The first season left viewers with the impression that there is more to come and that the series warrants a second season, and some reviews agreed.

However, in what appears to be a case of biting off more than they could chew, the first season's budget was exceedingly high; at the time of this writing, it is still the most costly German production of all time. Netflix ultimately decided to cancel the show since it did not fulfill its financial targets. The decision did not go down well with the fans.

9. Inside Job

As Netflix expanded, the only natural next step was to establish an in-house animation studio capable of producing episodes that would appeal to animation fans. Furthermore, by the end of the 2010s, Netflix had shows in every genre, with at least one of them being popular. So Netflix established its own animation studio, signed a first-look deal with animation newcomer Shion Takeuchi, and ordered her show "Inside Job" for a 20-episode run.

"Inside Job" successfully grounded an elevated premise in which a group works in a top-secret office that surreptitiously governs the world. The show spoofs conspiracy theories and concentrates on its true heart: being a workplace comedy. The program had a steadily rising popularity, and the fact that it had already been renewed for a second season implied that it would only be a matter of time until it became another Netflix success.

Unfortunately, the animation department soon crumbled, followed by a spate of exits from Netflix Animation. That eventually led to the cancelation of animation shows, including "Inside Job." Fans grumbled, but the situation was a lot more complex than just ratings and viewership numbers.

10. The Midnight Club

Netflix struck gold with "Stranger Things," but as is often the case with first-time success, it can be both a blessing and a curse. The service has repeatedly failed to recreate that incredibly high standard for teen-focused thrillers. "The Midnight Club" was yet another victim of that tragic pattern but not for the reasons one might assume. The show is set at a hospice for teenagers, which they gradually discover is haunted. The show is based on a book by Christopher Pike.

Mike Flanagan of "Doctor Sleep" and "Midnight Mass" fame created the show. The show was also well-received by critics, with an 87% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The show made it to the top 10 of Netflix's most-watched series, suggesting every single intended audience group was on board and expected Netflix to announce a second season.

However, Hollywood politics can be as entertaining as the storylines that wind up on the screen. The series creator signed an overall agreement with Amazon, leaving his Netflix deal, and Netflix quickly opted to cancel the show. It is unclear whether these two events are related, but it seems likely. The move enraged admirers, but Flanagan appeared to console them with a blog entry that provided them with much-needed closure.

11. The Baby-Sitters Club

It's not disputed that Netflix's method of empowering its filmmakers ensures that they consistently produce some of the industry's most praised TV shows. However, this is not always sufficient. It also needs to be advertised, which Netflix hasn't always been great at. For example, when it first aired, "The Baby-Sitters Club" was the service's most critically acclaimed live-action children's show, with a perfect Rotten Tomatoes rating for both seasons. Nonetheless, it was canceled.

The charming show followed the girls as they developed their personalities, gained confidence, and created friendships. There are two conflicting tales as to why it was canceled. Netflix stated the show failed to attract a large viewership, but the showrunner claimed the first season exceeded expectations and the second season was poorly marketed.

Both parties are likely telling the truth, but one thing is certain: fans were outraged that they would no longer be able to see new episodes of one of the best shows in recent memory.

12. One Day at a Time

Netflix has always struggled to create long-running sitcoms. They came very close with "One Day at a Time," a sitcom about an Army veteran called Penelope as she tries to adjust to life outside of the service with her Cuban-American family. The show lasted three seasons before being canceled.

Netflix did not provide a reason for the cancelation, but the show's producers were not ready to let go of the project just yet. They almost made a deal with CBS All Access, but Netflix's contract contained a clause preventing that. The show eventually moved to another CBS subsidiary, Pop TV, where it ran a final season. They then attempted to find another platform to continue the show but were unsuccessful.

The show was well-liked by both fans and reviewers. An online petition was even started in response to the cancelation. It did not bear fruit, but shows like "One Day at a Time" tend to find ways to stay in the culture, and it is likely that it will be produced again.

13. The Get Down

To attract big-name directors in the early days of generating original programming, Netflix had one strategy: give them as much financial power as they needed to accomplish their vision. That is precisely how they were able to entice "Elvis" director Baz Luhrmann, two-time Academy Award nominee, to create a TV show for them. "The Get Down" was a big-budget musical that chronicled the rise of hip-hop in the Bronx.

To put things into perspective, the first season of "The Get Down" cost more than the last season of "Game of Thrones." As a result, expectations were understandably sky-high. Unfortunately, the show was beset by production troubles, and when it finally aired, the ratings were not sufficient to justify continuing with the show. As a result, it was canceled after only one season.

That's not to say the show was horrible; critics were impressed, and fans were still hoping for a second season. As is customary, fans attempted to resurrect the show, but Netflix was not interested.

14. The OA

No other show that Netflix has ever produced has garnered such a dedicated fan base as "The OA." The sci-fi show followed a lady who disappeared seven years ago as a blind woman and reappeared with her sight. As the show goes on and fans slowly figure out where she was, the story just gets richer and richer. It was supposed to have a 5-season arc but unfortunately got canceled after two seasons.

The show's excellence is undeniable. BBC named it one of the finest 100 shows produced this decade, and even in its fragmentary form, it remains a must-see. What surprised the media was how dedicated fans were to reviving the show. They went well beyond just online petitions. From hunger strikes to digital billboards, the response from fans was overwhelming. Regardless, Netflix refused to budge.

Fans are the most important people as far as TV shows go but sometimes even they get disappointed. Hopefully, Netflix learns how to manage the zeitgeist better moving forward.