With HBO Max canceling scripted programming due to the Warner-Discovery merger, the longevity of streaming shows has once again been called into question. By adhering to different measures of success and licensing agreements, some of the most popular streaming shows end up on the chopping block.
Since the first exclusive streaming show in 2013, there have been numerous misfires, bombshells, and controversies that have resulted in many critically acclaimed series dropping and being canceled without a proper conclusion. Of Sense8 at The Punisherthose shows were adored by audiences and critics alike, leaving fans scratching their heads wondering what could have been.
ten Sneaky Pete (2015-2019) – 8.1
Amazon Prime Video
A tense crime drama, Sneaky Pete follows a con man recently released from prison and adopting the identity of his former cellmate to hide from a ruthless mobster. However, “Pete” is more than expected, as his adoptive family have their own dangerous qualities.
Despite high ratings, good reviews, and a cast that included Giovanni Ribisi, Margo Martindale, and Bryan Cranston, Amazon decided to cancel Sneaky Pete after three seasons. Although no official reason was given, The Hollywood Reporter reported that leading to Sneaky Petethere’s been a change in showrunners, a change in direction at Amazon, and a growing trend of streaming services, like Amazon, canceling most of its shows too soon.
9 Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj (2018-2020) – 8.2
Hosted by former Daily show correspondent and actor of one of The best Apple TV+ shows The morning show, Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj was a political satire show on Netflix that aired weekly, covering different topics from the modern cultural and political landscape.
Although it received rave reviews for its extensive coverage of controversial topics, a host of awards, and praise from several prominent comedians and commentators, patriot act was canceled after six seasons. According VarietyNetflix weighs viewership against cost of production heavily with their programming, and talk shows have been a tough genre for Netflix to crack, with all previous efforts only lasting a few seasons.
8 Patriot (2015-2018) – 8.2
Amazon Prime Video
A political black comedy Patriot follows intelligence officer John Tavner, a man of complicated connections whose new assignment requires him to assume unofficial cover, removing all the usual safety nets. If he did not succeed, Iran would have the potential to go nuclear.
The show, directed by Michael Dorman and Kurtwood Smith, had favorable reviews who praised it for its unique humor. After the launch of its second season, the future of the show was up in the air for 9 months. By Deadlinenews from PatriotAmazon’s cancellation was eventually confirmed by Amazon’s co-director of TV Albert Cheng during a TCA executive session in 2019, although no clear reason was given for the sudden end of the emission.
seven The Midnight Gospel (2020) – 8.2
The Midnight GospelThe basic premise revolves around an “astronaut” Clancy Gilroy, who lives on a planet that contains the powers allowing its inhabitants to simulate a variety of universes. During each episode, Gilroy interrogates the subjects of the various simulations before having to escape from an apocalyptic event.
A die best adult animated shows on netflix, The Midnight Gospel received positive reviews and developed a loyal fan base, with many praising the series for its ability to cover deep, heavy subject matter in a relaxed and fun way. That said, the show’s abrupt end coincided with the cancellation of a number of other Netflix animated projects following the company’s poor first-quarter results via Advertising week. Show creator Duncan Trussell shared news of the cancellation on Twitter and confirmed that Netflix owns the rights to the show, making it difficult for other studios and companies to pick up (via GameRant).
6 Catastrophe (2015-2019) – 8.2
Amazon Prime Video
Originally aired on Channel 4 before streaming on Amazon Prime Video, Disaster was a sitcom that followed the relationship between Sharon and Rob. They have a short fling while Rob is visiting London, only to find out that Sharon is pregnant. The rest of the series follows what happens after Rob moves to London to begin their journey as a couple.
The show was acclaimed throughout its run and was a hit in the UK with a small but loyal fanbase in the US. Disasterthe cancellation of was not announced, the showrunners confirmed that they had to condense everything to fit the UK format from a longer season model conventionally used in American sitcoms (via Indiewire). Its dark ending left fans wondering about the characters’ fates and sealed the series’ unexpected closure.
5 The Descent (2016-2017) – 8.2
Set in the 1970s, Lowering tells the story of the rise of hip hop and disco music through the eyes of a group of Bronx teenagers. Each of the main characters starts out wanting to break into the music business, and as the show progresses they have varying levels of success.
The show has been applauded for its authenticity and ambitious scope, weaving a handful of fictional narratives while supplanting itself in the middle of the story. Yet, by Deadline, the show’s budget jumped to $120 million, production was delayed, and show creator Baz Luhrmann indicated he couldn’t commit full-time to a possible second season. . Following these obstacles, Netflix canceled Lowering after one season.
4 Sense8 (2015-2018) – 8.2
A die best sci-fi shows with main LGBTQ+ characters, Sense8 follows eight strangers from around the world as they discover psychic connections with each other, forming a “cluster”. As they determine the extent of their shared abilities, the “sensates” realize that there are people who want to hunt them down.
The show has received international acclaim, with many praising the effective and diverse cast as well as the show’s themes of empathy and inclusion. Shortly after it was canceled, Netflix’s Ted Sarandos said during a conference (via The Hollywood Reporter):
“The audience was very passionate, but not large enough to sustain the economy of something this big, even on our platform.”
The show’s “passionate” fans turned out in droves to criticize the decision. Following mounting pressure, Netflix Green fired up a two-hour finale episode to tie up the loose narrative ends (via The Hollywood Reporter).
3 The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance (2019) – 8.4
A prequel to the 1982 Jim Henson film The dark crystal, The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance centers on three Gelflings, Rian, Deet, and Brea, who travel together to unite the Gelfling clans against the Skeksis to save their planet.
During its run, the series has been praised for expanding on the lore of the original film without losing sight of the emotional core of the world. Although it was canceled after one season, the split went amicably, with The Jim Henson Company creatives hoping to continue their stories in the future in other ways (via Deadline).
2 The Punisher (2017-2019) – 8.5
Based on one of Marvel Comics’ best mercenaries, The Punisher picks up after the events in which Frank Castle participated daredevil season 2. Now that he has exacted revenge on those responsible for his family’s death, Castle begins to uncover a larger conspiracy.
While reviews were lukewarm about the ruthless vigilante, audiences loved Jon Bernthal’s take on the violent, boundary-pushing character. After two successful seasons, the show was canceled in the final stage of the unraveling relationship between Netflix and Disney, as reported Deadline.
1 Daredevil (2015-2018) – 8.6
Netflix’s first Marvel TV show, daredevil, tells the story of Matt Murdock, a blind lawyer whose superhuman senses allow him to moonlight as a vigilante. While on patrol, Murdock slowly begins to unravel the inner workings of the New York underworld dominated by Wilson Fisk.
All three seasons of the series have been critically acclaimed, with Charlie Cox’s portrayal of Murdock reinvigorating interest in the character. But in 2018, daredevil has been cancelled following the cancellation of iron fist and Luke Cage. However, Netflix has said that Daredevil will live on in future Marvel projects (via Deadline). That turned out to be true, with Cox set to return as Daredevil in Daredevil: Born Again in 2024 for Disney+.
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