Netflix Just Canceled Two Top 10 Shows

Netflix has canceled both the sci-fi drama The Imperfects and the legal drama Partner Track.

By Michileen Martin | Published

It’s starting to feel like being an original program on Netflix is a lot like being a lead character on The Walking Dead or Game of Thrones–no one is safe. Deadline reports that both the legal drama Partner Track and the science fiction show The Imperfects have gotten the axe, in spite of both series debuting in the streamer’s top 10 and staying there for three weeks. The outlet says that as impressive as those numbers may sound, it doesn’t represent “the long tail Netflix wants” to renew series for subsequent seasons.

Canceling series that otherwise appear successful is starting to become an interesting trend for Netflix. The streamer also recently canceled Fate: The Winx Saga, in spite of the series enjoying the #1 spot in over 80 different countries. Thankfully for fans of the series, the creator of the franchise has announced that he’s developing a film and that an animated series is already on the way.

In 2017 when South Park‘s “Franchise Prequel” episode aired including a scene in which Cartman calls Netflix to learn the streamer’s operators answer the phone with “Netflix: you’re green lit,” no one needed to the joke explained to them. In a few years the platform had gone from boasting a handful of successful original series like Orange Is the New Black and House of Cards to original projects starting to take over the streamer. The gap between licensed content and original Netflix content started to look so small that it was tough to imagine there was anyone left in the U.S. who wasn’t working on a Netflix production in one way or another.

But with the kind of very public financial woes the streamer has been struggling with since last year, it seems like their operators probably have a much different kind of phone message prepped. When it comes to many of Netflix’s earliest cancellations of popular original series–e.g. Marco Polo, Bloodline, Sense8–the core issue was budgetary. But in the case of most of the original content getting the axe this year, it doesn’t seem likely we’re talking about the biggest budgets out there.

Arden Cho in Partner Track

Certainly in the cases of science fiction and/or supernatural shows like Fate: The Winx Saga, Raising Dion, Locke & Key, and The Imperfects you need some money for special effects. But still, we’re not talking about the same level of production that would be too much even for a #1. And then you have canceled series like Partner Track, Pretty Smart, and Gentefied that you wouldn’t necessarily think would carry any kind of weighty price tag comparatively speaking.

When you consider all of this, it’s difficult to not humor the possibility that when it comes to original content, Netflix has entered a new era in which you’re either a Squid Game, a Stranger Things, or you go somewhere else.