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Netflix Originals That Have Been Canceled In 2020 So Far

Netflix has a slate of shows to rival the best television networks, but without the constraints of a schedule. The streaming giant can add as many shows as it likes to its vast viewing library — either by acquiring them or producing them in-house — without any regard for time slots. But while Netflix can provide access to a virtually limitless selection of TV series, the service can't produce an indefinite number of shows. 

A TV series costs a lot of money to make, and nothing can last forever. Maybe the show isn't a hit with its subscribers (or it's no longer pulling in enough viewers to justify its existence), or maybe it's too expensive, or it's just run its course, creatively speaking. For those reasons and others, Netflix has announced that a number of long-in-production favorites and recent debuts alike will end their tenure on the service in 2020. Here are all the Netflix shows wrapping up this year.


Messiah hit Netflix on New Year's Day 2020, inviting in viewers with the day off from work and looking for something to watch. It also invited controversy. The show poses one central question: if a man claiming to be the son of God emerged in the present-day, would people believe it, or would they think he's a con artist or leader of a nefarious plot to upend the worldwide political status quo? 

Al Massih ad-Dajjal (Mehdi Dehbi) claims to be the long-anticipated messiah of the title, who gains many followers and builds a powerful movement, performing what appear to be miracles along the way. A CIA agent named Eva Geller (Michelle Monaghan) tracks his every move while trying to determine if this mysterious figure is an agent of peace or an agent of doom. The story will not unfold any further, however. In March of 2020, cast member Will Traval announced on his Instagram page that he "just received news from Netflix that there will be no season 2" of Messiah.

A.J. and the Queen

RuPaul Charles — or just RuPaul, as the performer is famously known — doesn't do much acting. He doesn't need to, as he's busy hosting the immensely popular competition reality show RuPaul's Drag Race. A.J. and the Queen marked RuPaul's first starring role in a scripted series. He played Robert Lee, a.k.a. Ruby Red, a drag performer aiming to open his own club. After his sleazy boyfriend steals his savings, Robert sets off on a cross-country drag tour to raise funds. Little does he know that a young con artist named A.J. (Izzy G.) has snuck aboard his RV. 

The road trip buddy comedy/nontraditional family sitcom also featured appearances by more than 20 RuPaul's Drag Race contestants, but none of these factors would be enough to keep A.J. and the Queen driving for more than its initial ten episodes. RuPaul announced on Twitter in March that Netflix had "decided to not extend our road trip across America."

Spinning Out

Figure skating is often among the most-watched televised sports, and its most celebrated stars become household names — athletes like Nancy Kerrigan, Michelle Kwan, and Tara Lipinski. Netflix reasoned that there was just as big an audience for a fictional narrative series about figure skating as there was for real skating, and so it produced a show called Spinning Out. Created by ex-figure skater Samantha Stratton, the series starred Kaya Scodelario as Kat Baker, a solo skater who, after a dramatic setback, reinvents herself as a pairs skater. Mad Men and The Last Man on Earth star January Jones steals a lot of scenes as Kat's mother, a former figure skater herself.

Spinning Out was the first Netflix original series of 2020, hitting the internet on New Year's Day. According to Deadline, the service's programming executives only need about a month to gather enough viewership data to determine if a series is going to be a hit, or at least drawing enough people to justify producing more episodes. On February 3, after it had been available for scarcely more than 30 days, Netflix canceled the sports drama after its first and only season.


Shortly after portraying a brooding vampire named Damon on the CW's long-running adaptation of author L.J. Smith's The Vampire Diaries, Ian Somerhalder headlined the cast of another series based on a print work: Netflix's version of Jonathan Maberry's V-Wars. This time, Somerhalder was on the other side of the bloody line between human and monster, portraying Dr. Luther Swann, a scientist at the forefront of an outbreak of (and response to) a weird and ancient climate-change-triggered virus that turns humans into nasty vampires. The whole thing spills over into a political crisis — if not civil war — between people and an organized band of bloodsuckers led by Michael Fayne (Adrian Holmes), Dr. Swann's former best friend. 

All ten episodes of the first season of this horrific sci-fi pandemic show hit Netflix in December 2019, but by March 2020, it was clear that V-Wars wasn't bringing in big enough numbers for Netflix. The streamer canceled the series after that single, brief season of vampire mayhem.

October Faction

Joining Netflix's stable of supernatural-themed series like The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina and Lucifer in early 2020: October Faction. Based on the Steve Niles and Damien Worm comic series from IDW Publishing (also home to the books that would become the Netflix hit Locke & Key and the flop V-Wars), the show was one part domestic drama and one part horror frenzy. Deloris and Fred Allen (Tamara Taylor and J.C. MacKenzie) are a happily married couple and parents of twin teenagers trying to adjust to life after moving back to their seemingly tranquil upstate New York hometown while also trying to keep secret their life's work and purpose as monster hunters for a mysterious worldwide agency known only as "Presidio." They also have to make sure the bizarre and frightening beings they're after don't get to them or their family first.

Despite the involvement of Bones star Taylor and showrunner Damian Kindler, who worked on genre favorites like Sleepy Hollow and Krypton, October Faction couldn't find a sizable audience, and flopped with critics, earning 33 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. Netflix canceled the series in March 2020.

The Ranch

What traditionally-shot Netflix sitcom produced more episodes than any other? The Ranch, the low-key comedy starring Ashton Kutcher as Colt Bennett, an ex-football player who agrees to run the Colorado ranch where his estranged family still lives and works. The sometimes lightly dramatic family comedy for grown-ups packed major star power and sitcom veterans alike, with Sam Elliott and Debra Winger starring as Colt's parents, Kutcher's That '70s Show castmate Danny Masterson as Colt's brother Rooster, Dax Sheppard as cousin Luke (replacing Rooster after Masterson was fired), and Happy Endings veteran Elisha Cuthbert as Colt's high school girlfriend-turned-wife. 

In June 2019, Kutcher announced on Twitter (via TV Line) that the show would wrap up after its fourth season, bringing the show to a conclusion after 80 installments. The first part of the season hit Netflix in 2019, and the final batch of episodes depicting life at Iron River Ranch premiered in January 2020.

BoJack Horseman

It doesn't seem like BoJack Horseman should have worked. Somehow it did — and to major popularity and wide critical acclaim — for six seasons. It's set in a reality very much like our own, except that humans live alongside talking animals. And while this is the source of endless, hilarious animal puns, BoJack Horseman evolved into a thorough and honest examination of depression, and how success doesn't erase or even cover up at all the scars left by a rough childhood. The title character is a washed-up actor (voiced by Will Arnett) who struggles to leave his cheesy '90s sitcom Horsin' Around behind him as he pursues more serious roles and self-sabotages his life.

One of Netflix's first original series (it hit the service in 2014), BoJack Horseman was nominated for Outstanding Animated Program at the Emmys in 2019. A few months later, in January 2020, its sixth and final season debuted, giving the show a proper ending. Creator Raphael Bob-Waksberg wasn't necessarily ready to wrap it up. "I thought we'd go a couple more years," he told Vulture. "But you know, it's a business," he added, pointing out that Netflix had to do "what's right for them, and six years is a very healthy run for a TV show."

13 Reasons Why

Based on the devastating novel by Jay Asher, the television adaptation 13 Reasons Why reached Netflix in 2017. The first season proved controversial and disturbing for some — each installment was about one of the 13 cassette tapes recorded by a deceased teenager named Hannah Baker (Katherine Langford, in flashbacks), revealing one of the factors that led her to take her own life. (The suicide was depicted so graphically that Netflix later cut the scene out of the series entirely.)

Netflix ordered more seasons of the show, which veered away from Asher's original content and explored the world of 13 Reasons Why, particularly the legal, emotional, and social ramifications of Hannah's shocking death on her family, friends, and those she called out in her audio diaries. That sad, pressurized environment led to the death of another high school student, this time by murder, a plot line which will likely be explored in the fourth and final season of 13 Reasons Why in 2020.

Dear White People

In 2014, filmmaker Justin Simien burst onto the scene with his indie film Dear White People, one of the most thought-provoking college-set films ever made. It explores the racial dynamics at Winchester University, where the campus humor magazine holds a "blackface" party and a college radio DJ takes down culturally-appropriating white students via her show, Dear White People. The film is packed with questions about modern college life, racial issues, and identity politics, and it didn't offer up many easy answers to these ongoing concerns, making a Netflix show an ideal candidate for adaptation into a continuing series. 

Simien wrote and directed several episodes of the Netflix version of Dear White People, where some of the film's original cast members reprised their roles, including Logan Browning as radio host Sam. But this college situation, like those of many, will ultimately last four years. In late 2019, the streamer renewed the series for a fourth and final season, set to be made available in 2020.


Sensitive and thoughtful teen drama Trinkets feels like an MTV show, perhaps because that's where the show was first developed. Nevertheless, it wound up on Netflix, with its first season premiering in the summer of 2019. Based on the YA novel of the same name by Kirsten Smith, the series centered around Elodie, a shy teen mourning the death of her mother and attempting to fit in at her new Portland high school when she finds an outlet in shoplifting. 

She's forced to attend a Shoplifters Anonymous meeting, which is where she meets her two best friends, Moe and Tabitha. According to a source who spoke to The Hollywood Reporter, Netflix ordered up another season of ten episodes with the caveat that it would also be the last season of Trinkets, which enabled incoming showrunner Sarah Goldfinger to give the show a definitive ending, and one that wraps up all of its loose story threads.

Fuller House

In a TV landscape full of comedies like Transparent and Orange is the New Black — cinematic productions that balance wit with drama  — in came Fuller House, an unabashedly corny update of the ABC family sitcom that originally ran from 1987 to 1995, complete with a studio audience, laugh track, and warm and fuzzy stories. 

Set in the same San Francisco house as the original series, the premise remained the same: a single parent raises their kids with the help of a live-in relative and close friend. Instead of dad Danny Tanner, Fuller House focused on D.J. Tanner-Fuller (Candace Cameron Bure), a recently-widowed single mom raising her three boys with the help two other returning Full House characters — sister Stephanie Tanner (Jodie Sweetin) and BFF Kimmy Gibbler, who has a daughter of her own. The show became a huge hit for Netflix upon its 2016 debut, with the service ordering more and more episodes with each passing year. In November 2019, Netflix reported that Fuller House would end upon the release of its fifth season, the second part of which will hit streaming in 2020.