Netflix might be spending $17 billion on new content in 2021, but the streamer is also bringing the hammer down on some beloved fan favourites with The Last Kingdom, The Irregulars and The Duchess being the latest series’ to get the chop.
The cancellation of The Irregulars is certainly surprising, given that the eight-episode British mystery crime drama was one of the 10 most-watched Netflix originals for much of April, spending 18 consecutive days on the platform’s US top ten. Netflix offered no insight as to why the Sherlock Holmes-adjacent show was abruptly dropped.
According to Katherine Ryan — the creator and star of The Duchess — her comedy failed to make it to its second season due to low viewership. Appearing on Vicky Pattison’s The Secret To… podcast, Ryan said, “Netflix didn’t want to make any more, not enough people watched it. I think something like 10 million people watched it in 28 days and that wasn’t enough.
“But also, I’m not terribly sad about it. I feel like it’s a whole lot of work, a whole lot of time to make a sitcom. I was so grateful to able to make it, but I think it speaks for itself. I kind of like the way it ended.”
The demise of The Last Kingdom is somewhat more understandable, after being picked up for its third season by Netflix from the BBC. The show’s fifth season will be its last, meaning it has enjoyed a lengthier run than many other popular series’ which have been unceremoniously canned.
In 2020 the streaming giant terminated more than 20 of its own original series, including the immensely popular GLOW which only survived three seasons on the platform. Additionally, I Am Not Okay With This, and Teenage Bounty Hunters were also axed, after just one season each.
Another shock cancellation was that of The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance, which only lasted one season despite featuring an all-star voice cast — including Mark Strong, Mark Hamill, Awkwafina and Lena Headey — and being adored by fans and critics.
Speaking at the time the show was cancelled, Lisa Henson, CEO of the Jim Henson Company and the show’s executive producer, said: “We know fans are eager to learn how this chapter of The Dark Crystal saga concludes and we’ll look for ways to tell that story in the future.”
Adult-animated series Tuca and Bertie also suffered a similar fate, with Netflix choosing not to pursue a second season. The show, from BoJack Horseman production designer and producer Lisa Hanawalt, has since been given new life on Adult Swim.
Meanwhile, Emily in Paris, which was met with widespread disdain, has begun shooting its second season in the European holiday destination.