What's Behind Netflix's TV Show Cancellation Spree?

Friends From College is the latest show to get canceled by the streaming platform
By Chris Harnick Feb 19, 2019 6:26 PMTags
Friends From CollegeNetflix

Netflix pulled the plug on not just its remaining Marvel shows this weekend. Friends From College was also canceled by the streaming giant.

Creator Nicholas Stoller confirmed the news on Twitter. "Friends from College will not be returning for a third season. Thanks to everyone who watched it. Happy Presidents' Day!" he tweeted.

Netflix previously canceled Marvel's The Punisher and Marvel's Jessica Jones on Monday, Feb. 18. The third season of Jessica Jones starring Krysten Ritter is still slated to premiere on Netflix sometime in 2019.

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Friends From College starred Keegan-Michael Key, Fred Savage, Annie Parisse, Nat Faxon, Jae Suh Park and Cobie Smulders. The comedy, which was not met with much fanfare when it debuted in July 2017, ran for two seasons and produced 16 episodes. Season two dropped in January 2019.

Jessica Jones, The Punisher and Friends From College are just the latest to get canceled by Netflix as the streaming platform continues to grow. Netflix CEO Reed Hastings previously addressed the streamer's cancellation thought process, noting it comes down to how many people are watching (even though they don't reveal that number to the public).

"What really matters is I hope our hit ratio is way too high right now," Hastings said back in 2017. "So, we've canceled very few shows…I'm always pushing the content team, we have to take more risk. You have to try more crazy things, because we should have a higher cancel rate overall. Because then, what you get is you get some winners that are just unbelievable winners, like 13 Reasons Why. Over the last three months [13 Reasons Why] has been a big hit for us. And you know, it surprised us too. I mean, it was a great show, but we didn't realize just how it would catch on."

It comes down to viewers, but for the Marvel show, it's twofold: Disney owned the Marvel shows, Netflix didn't. And Disney is starting its own streaming service with original content, Disney+, a direct competitor to Netflix. While there hasn't been official confirmation about why the Marvel and Netflix relationship ended, it's easy to draw conclusions between the launch of Disney+ and cancellation of the Netflix shows. While commenting on the Netflix cancellations, Marvel Television's Jeph Loeb teased the story of the heroes from Netflix's shows is not over.

See what other shows have been canceled and concluded by Netflix below.

Atypical

Stars: Keir GilchristJennifer Jason Leigh, Michael Rapaport and Brigette Lundy-Paine

About: Sam, a young man on the autism spectrum, and his family

Length: Four seasons at time of end, 38 episodes.

Soundtrack

Stars: Paul James, Callie Hernandez, Marianne Jean-Baptiste, Jenna Dewan

About: Interconnecting love stories with musical numbers.

Length: One season, 10 episodes.

BoJack Horseman

Stars: Will Arnett, Amy Sedaris, Aaron Paul, Alison Brie, Paul F. Tompkins

About: Set in an alternate world of Hollywood, the show follows BoJack Horseman, a washed up actor.

Length: Six seasons, 77 episodes.

The Crown

Stars: Claire Foy, Olivia Colman, Imelda Staunton

About: Queen Elizabeth II's reign over Great Britain.

Length: Five seasons, likely wrapping up in 2021.

Dear White People

Stars: Logan Browning, Brandon P. Bell, DeRon Horton, Antoinette Robertson, John Patrick Amedori, Marque Richardson, Ashley Blaine Featherson

About: Based on the movie of the same name, the series follows black students in college.

Length: Four seasons, with the final debuting in 2020.

GLOW

Stars: Alison Brie, Betty Gilpin, Marc Maron, Chris Lowell, Sydelle Noel, Britney Young, Kate Nash

About: A group of women who come together to form the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling in the 1980s.

Length: Four seasons, 40 episodes when the fourth and final is released.

Anne With an E

Stars: Amybeth McNulty

About: A retelling of the classic Anne of Green Gables story.

Length: Three seasons, 27 episodes.

Lucifer

Stars: Tom Ellis, Lauren German, Kevin Alejandro, D.B. Woodside, Lesley-Ann Brandt, Rachael Harris

About: The devil goes to Los Angeles and opens a nightclub to cure his boredom, he then ends up consulting with the LAPD.

Length: Two seasons on Netflix, with the final one coming, making it five total.

13 Reasons Why

Stars: Dylan Minnette, Katherine Langford, Alisha Boe, Brandon Flynn, Justin Prentice, Miles Heizer, Ross Butler, Christian Navarro and Devin Druid

About: Follows a group of high school students dealing with the aftermath of a classmate's suicide.

Length: Four seasons, wrapping up in 2020.

 

Grace and Frankie

Stars: Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda 

About: Two former rivals become best friends when their husbands reveal they want to marry each other. 

Length: After one final season, it will be seven seasons and 94 episodes, making it Netflix's longest-running show.

The OA

Stars: Brit Marling, Emory Cohen, Phyllis Smith, Brendan Meyer, Brandon Perea, Ian Alexander, Jason Isaacs

About: Uh, perhaps an angel?

Length: Two seasons, 16 episodes.

Tuca & Bertie

Stars: Tiffany Haddish, Ali Wong, Steven Yeun

About: The series followed two 30something best friend bird-women.

Length: One season, 10 episodes.

Designated Survivor

Stars: Kiefer Sutherland, Adan Canto, Italia Ricci, Kal Penn, Maggie Q

About: President Kirkman, having fallen into office after a terrorist attack, begins campaigning in the third season.

Length: Three seasons (one on Netflix), 53 episodes.

Chambers

Stars: Uma Thurman, Tony Goldwyn, Sivan Alyra Rachel, Marcus LaVoi

About: The series followed a teenager who received a heart transplant and became haunted by unexplained visions connected to the donor's death.

Length: One season, 10 episodes.

The Ranch

Stars: Ashton Kutcher, Danny Masterson (season 1-3), Elisha Cuthbert, Sam Elliott, Debra Winger

About: Kutcher stars and executive produces the series about a dysfunctional family living in a small town in Colorado. He played Colt, a former football star who returns home to the family ranch.

Length: Four seasons, 80 episodes

Santa Clarita Diet

Stars: Drew Barrymore, Timothy Olyphant, Liv Hewson, Skyler Gisondo

About: Joel and Sheila Hammond were your typical suburban couple...until Sheila became a flesh-hungry zombie.

Length: Three seasons, 30 episodes.

One Day at a Time

Stars: Justina Machado, Todd Grinnell, Isabella Gomez, Marcel Ruiz, Rita Moreno

About: After three seasons, Netflix pulled the plug on the acclaimed reboot. The series was a contemporary update of the Norman Lear sitcom about a single mother raising her two kids.

Length: Three seasons, 39 episodes.

Friends From College

Stars: Keegan-Michael Key, Fred Savage, Annie Parisse, Nat Faxon, Jae Suh Park and Cobie Smulders

About: A tight-nit group of friends, from college, navigating life in their 40s in New York City.

Length: Two seasons, 16 episodes.

Marvel's The Punisher

Stars: Jon Bernthal, Ebon Moss-Bacharach, Ben Barnes, Amber Rose Revah

About: The Marvel vigilante of the same name.

Length: Two seasons, 26 episodes.

Marvel's Jessica Jones

Stars: Krysten Ritter, Rachael Taylor, Carrie-Anne Moss, Eka Darville

About: The Marvel superhero/private eye who struggles with past trauma.

Length: Three seasons, 39 episodes.

Marvel's Daredevil

Stars: Charlie Cox, Deborah Ann Woll, Elden Henson, Vincent D'Onofrio and more

About: The Marvel superhero of the same name, by day a blind lawyer, by night a kick-butt vigilante.

Length: Three seasons, 39 episodes.

All About the Washingtons

Stars: Rev. Run Simmons, Justine Simmons

About: A multi-camera sitcom starring the real-life couple as fictionalized versions of themselves raising a family.

Length: One season, 10 episodes.

Hater Back Off

Stars: Colleen Ballinger, Angela Kinsey, Francesca Reale, Erik Stocklin, Steve Little

About: Based on Ballinger's Miranda Sings character, the series is about the YouTube character's family life. Miranda wanted fame at whatever the cost.

Length: Two seasons, 16 episodes.

A Series of Unfortunate Events

Stars: Neil Patrick Harris, Patrick Warburton, Malina Weissman, Louis Hynes, Presley Smith

About: Based on the Lemony Snicket novels of the same name, the series follows the Baudelaire children after they're sent to live with a distant relative, Count Olaf.

Length: Three seasons, 25 episodes. Season three, which will be seven episodes, has yet to drop.

The Get Down

Stars: Justice Smith, Jimmy Smits, Shameik Moore, Jaden Smith

About: Created by Baz Luhrmann and Stephen Adly Guirgis, he musical drama was set in the Bronx in the 1970s and followed the rise of hip-hop and disco.

Length: One season, 11 episodes.

Girlboss

Stars: Britt Robertson, Johnny Simmons, Ellie Reed, Alphonso McAuley

About: Created by Pitch Perfect's Kay Cannon and based on Sophia Amoruso's autobiography, the series follows Robertson's Sophia as she begins a vintage clothing business.

Length: One season, 13 episodes.

Sense8

Stars: Aml Ameen, Donna Bae, Toby Onwumere, Jamie Clayton, Tina Desai, Tuppence Middleton, Max Riemelt, Miguel Angel Silvestre, Brian J. Smith

About: The fan-favorite series followed eight strangers who shared a mysterious psychic connection.

Length: Two seasons, 24 episodes, and a wrap up movie.

Gypsy

Stars: Naomi Watts, Billy Crudup

About: Watts starred as Jean Holloway, a psychologist who infiltrates the private lives of her patients.

Length: One season, 10 episodes.

Everything Sucks

Stars: Jahi Di'Allo Winston, Peyton Kennedy, Patch Darragh, Claudine M. Nako, Quinn Liebling, Elijah Stevenson, Sydney Sweeney, Rio Mangini

About: The comedy followed the students of Boring High School, a small Oregon town, in 1996.

Length: One season, 10 episodes.

Orange Is the New Black

Stars: Taylor Schilling, Laura Prepon, Kate Mulgrew, Uzo Aduba, Danielle Brooks, Dascha Polanco, Selenis Leyva, Taryn Manning, Adrienne C. Moore, Natasha Lyonne, Elizabeth Rodriguez

About: The dramedy, which was created by Jenji Kohan and based on Piper Kerman's book, follows the prisoners of Litchfield.

Length: Seven seasons, 91 episodes. Season seven will drop summer 2019.

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