Netflix has long been criticized for its track record of canceling shows, but a recent study suggests that the streaming giant is not the worst offender when it comes to axing projects. According to research from Variety, Max, owned Warner Bros. and HBO, takes the top spot, canceling a staggering 26.9% of its projects. Netflix, on the other hand, sits in fifth place with a cancellation rate of 10.2%. Disney Plus, Paramount, and Hulu also rank higher than Netflix in terms of show cancellations.
One reason Max cancels shows is due to low popularity. For example, the highly acclaimed series Westworld was canceled after its fourth season. The decision was made due to the show’s declining ratings and high production costs. Despite the creators’ plans for five seasons and a planned ending, the viewership and critical reception of Westworld steadily declined over the years.
Another Max show that met an untimely demise was the Gossip Girl remake. Despite initially setting a record for the most-watched original series on HBO Max, the show was canceled after just two seasons. The reasons behind the cancellation are undisclosed, but it showcases that even successful shows can face an uncertain future.
It’s worth noting that the recent merger between Discovery and WarnerMedia has also led to some show cancellations. CEO David Zaslav’s focus on cost-cutting resulted in reductions in the number of series in development, leading to the cancellation of projects like Batgirl, which had already been filmed and was in post-production.
The study’s findings debunk the notion that Netflix is the main culprit for show cancellations. While Netflix has undeniably canceled some beloved shows, it appears that other streaming services like Max, Disney Plus, and Paramount cancel a higher percentage of projects.