Streamers Canceling Fewer Shows Moving Forward For A Smart Reason?

Peacock's chief has a strategy of getting more out of the streamer's hit series rather than canceling new ones.

By Britta DeVore | Updated


We all know the feeling of circling the multitude of streamers for well over an hour in an attempt to find something that catches our eye only to high-tail it out and go for a rewatch of an old cozy classic like Game of Thrones or The Office. There’s a certain safety in turning back to a beloved series that you’ve seen over and over again and that’s something that Peacock and NBC Chief Susan Rovner completely recognizes and plans to base the network’s upcoming plans on. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Rovner recently spoke at a SXSW panel and shared her belief that instead of starting fresh with brand new content, the network would plan to push their already successful titles towards more seasons.

At the heart of it, Rovner says that many streamers will pick up a series, run it for a few seasons and then give it the ax before repeating that process with their next purchase. In turn, she explained that this method doesn’t leave much room for a library to grow. NBC has been majorly successful in growing a wealth of these libraries over the years with shows like the aforementioned The Office, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Parks and Recreation, and 30 Rock boasting several seasons with a slew of episodes in each.

Over the years, as networks have moved out of the linear lineup and gone straight to their streamers, the original formula of longer and more seasons has slowed down, something that Rovner is sure that networks will regret in the upcoming years, adding that she believes it’s a “mistake” that will inevitably “catch up” with them.

With new hit series like Rian Johnson’s Poker Face receiving a second season order, it’s clear that Rovner’s plan is already in the works. While grabbing the attention (and wallets) of what she calls “short-term customers” is currently the name of the game, the NBCU exec says that she wants to make sure that the “long-term value” is still there with audiences coming back for the network’s stacked library. 

poker face season 1 finale
Natasha Lyonne in Poker Face

Even with Rovner’s outlook and game plan for Peacock, she admits that no series is necessarily safe from being canceled after its second or third season. She also acknowledges that things can get messy and the lines can be blurred for underperforming projects that have a “heavy mythology” which should be formed in a proper style to “honor” its fandom.

And, while for many streamers, an underperforming show could spell out financial disaster, Rovner says that although they may be throwing money away on the title, ensuring that it receives a proper beginning, middle, and end is important to keeping customers and audiences loyal to the service. 

When it comes to the future of business for streamers, it’s no surprise that cost efficiency and viewership are the names of the game. Many networks and corporations like Warner Bros. Discovery and The CW are making major changes to the way they put out their material and the decisions they make with what to add and what to take away. With Rovner’s latest statement, it seems as though everyone has their own ideas about how to further build their base while continuing to see dollar signs.