The company confirmed Saturday that “Girlboss” has been canceled after one season. The dramedy — an adaptation of e-retailer entrepreneur Sophia Amoruso’s book — didn’t get great reviews, but it certainly had loyal fans. It appears that’s no longer enough to ensure a second season. “Girlboss” is the third Netflix show in a month to get cut, following Baz Luhrmann’s musical drama “The Get Down” (one season) and Lana and Lilly Wachowski’s sci-fi series “Sense8” (two seasons).
As you may know, three is a trend: Over the weekend, multiple outlets pointed to the “Girlboss” news as a real signal that Netflix is serious about trimming its original offerings. Last month, Netflix chief executive Reed Hastings told CNBC that “our hit ratio is way too high right now” and acknowledged the company had very few cancellations.
“I’m always pushing the content team, we have to take more risks, you have to try more crazy things,” he said. “Because we should have a higher cancel rate overall.”
Many interpreted this as Hastings saying Netflix would crack down on shows that didn’t make a huge splash — as opposed to series such as the polarizing “13 Reasons Why,” a drama about teen suicide that proved extremely controversial but earned worldwide headlines and tons of social-media buzz. It was recently renewed for a second season.
Antennas went up after fall’s cancellation of “Bloodline.” Granted, it got three seasons, but critics were still shocked to see Netflix ax a show that not only had a star-studded cast (Kyle Chandler, Ben Mendelsohn) but also lots of awards attention. At the time, Vulture’s Joe Adalian noted that Netflix might have “entered a new phase in its history” in which it wouldn’t just toss money at high-profile producers (and “Bloodline” was getting expensive).
“As one studio executive told Vulture last spring, ‘We’re having conversations now where Netflix is saying, ‘Wow, we really love that show. It feels too expensive,’ ” Adalian wrote.
So, producers of Netflix shows, it looks like the honeymoon may be over — you don’t get a pass just because you’re at a very successful company. If this slowly increasing list of cancellations is any indication, you may need to step up your game, or be on the chopping block.