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The hidden reason why Netflix keeps cancelling shows you enjoy

Bec Oakes

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| Last updated 

The hidden reason why Netflix keeps cancelling shows you enjoy

Featured Image Credit: Netflix

There's nothing worse than really getting into a new series on Netflix, for the platform to cancel it the next season. But, there's a hidden reason as to why they do it.

Netflix seems to constantly be on a spree of cancelling shows. Just last month, it came under fire for cancelling five shows at once, including one of its 'best series'.

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Just one week after the end of the SAG-AFTRA strikes that put a pause on all Hollywood productions, the streaming platform culled Agent Elvis, Captain Fall, Glamorous, Farzar and hit show Shadow and Bone.

Fans of Shadow and Bone, which was adapted from Leigh Bardugo’s Grishaverse novels, were gutted by the cancellation and questioned Netflix's motives.

One wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter: “Do not, for any reason, ever fall in love with a Netflix TV show. They kill them at the first chance they have."

Another added: “Why make shows if you’re just not gonna finish them?”

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Fans were gutted when Netflix cancelled 'Shadow and Bone' earlier this year. Credit: Netflix
Fans were gutted when Netflix cancelled 'Shadow and Bone' earlier this year. Credit: Netflix

The streaming platform has a a bit of a track record for cancelling seemingly popular shows, while renewing other, less-viewed shows, leaving plenty of viewers sad and struggling to figure out why.

But, there is a key reason.

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.

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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.

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

While some cancelled shows seem more popular than those that have been renewed, shows like 'Heartstopper' see more viewers complete the series. Credit: Netflix
While some cancelled shows seem more popular than those that have been renewed, shows like 'Heartstopper' see more viewers complete the series. Credit: Netflix
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They reckon that the magic threshold a Netflix series has to beat to get renewed is hitting 50 percent on completion rate, with some well regarded shows scraping much lower figures and getting dropped as a result.

The streaming service 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.

So, while you were completely obsessed with a show, if most people didn't even bother watching the final episode, it makes sense that ultimately got the axe.

Topics: Film & TV, Film and TV, Netflix, Entertainment

Bec Oakes
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