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Netflix co-CEO says they have 'never cancelled a successful show' in response to online outrage

Netflix co-CEO says they have 'never cancelled a successful show' in response to online outrage

Some much-loved shows have been axed, but Ted Sarandos said the decisions are always justified

The co-CEO of Netflix has insisted that no successful shows have ever been cancelled by the streaming giant.

There's been a lot of outrage lately among subscribers who have seen their favourite programmes axed, with the likes of 1899 binned even as fans were desperate for a second season, along with much-loved series Warrior Nun, despite rave reviews.

But Ted Sarandos has insisted that every cancellation has been justified.

Speaking to Bloomberg, he said: "We have never cancelled a successful show. A lot of these shows were well-intended but talk to a very small audience on a very big budget.

"The key to it is you have to be able to talk to a small audience on a small budget and a large audience at a large budget. If you do that well, you can do that forever."

Basically, it's a business and sadly rave reviews and cult hits don't necessarily bring in the big bucks.

Still, shows that boasted a pretty strong viewership in terms of overall hours watched have also been scrapped.

Some popular shows have been axed by Netflix.
dpa picture alliance / Alamy Stock Photo

Viewers have been mystified by this, struggling to figure out why a seemingly popular shows were getting cancelled when other less viewed shows got the nod for a second season.

According to Forbes, one of the big reasons behind Netflix choosing to ditch or renew a show is a metric called 'completion rate', which measures how many viewers actually watched a series through to the end.

While the overall number of hours a show was viewed can give you an idea of how long audiences spent on a show, completion rate can suggest whether those numbers would translate into a strong viewer base for future seasons.

They pointed towards the example of First Kill, which got cancelled after the first series despite having more hours watched compared to a series like Heartstopper, which got renewed for two new seasons.

The company has made some controversial calls.
ZUMA Press Inc / Alamy Stock Photo

While Netflix viewers spent much more time on First Kill, it seems as though only about 44 percent of those watched the whole thing, while 73 percent of Heartstopper viewers watched through to the final episode.

They reckon that the magic threshold a Netflix series has to beat to get renewed is hitting 50 percent on completion rate, with well regarded shows like 1899 only scraping about 32 percent and getting dropped as a result.

The streaming service understandably doesn't want to throw their money at new seasons of shows if the majority of the audience couldn't even make it to the end of the current one.

While measuring a show on completion time might be a key part of Netflix's decision to keep or drop a show, there are likely several other factors they've got to consider.

If overall viewing figures are in the toilet or review scores are terrible, it's unlikely to make a compelling case for a show's renewal, even if those who did tune in made it through to the end.

Featured Image Credit: dpa picture alliance / Alamy Stock Photo / Netflix

Topics: Film and TV, Netflix