The number of original television series on Netflix continues to grow by leaps and bounds. Though they hail from multiple different genres and formats, all Netflix Original Series have one thing in common: they are almost never canceled. Unfortunately, that is beginning to change, and the latest show to get the ax is the globe-trotting sci-fi show Sense8.
The show was created by The Matrix creators Lana and Lilly Wachowski along with Babylon 5 mastermind J. Michael Straczynski.
The first 12-episode season debuted on Netflix on June 5, 2015, followed by a two-hour Christmas special on December 23, 2016.
Ten additional Season 2 episodes arrived on the service just last month, but it appears the viewership numbers were not enough to keep the show going.
Netflix is notoriously tight-lipped about how many viewers watch their shows, refusing all requests to release ratings information.
Sense8 followed an ensemble cast from around the world, who all discovered they were “sensates” and were psychically linked to one another.
The show was hailed for its honest and positive portrayal of LGBTQ characters, featuring a high number of such characters in its cast.
Filming for the show actually took place in different cities all over the globe, leading a producer to reveal that production costs on Season 2 exceeded $9 million per episode.
That’s an extremely high budget for a television series, so if viewership numbers were not as high as expected, it makes sense that Netflix may have had doubts about the show’s future.
In a recent interview, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings lamented the streaming service’s lack of cancellations, saying he wanted the service to take more risks.
Prior to Sense8, the only noteworthy cancellations by Netflix were the horror series Hemlock Grove after three seasons and Baz Luhrmann’s expensive and troubled series The Get Down, which got the boot after one season.
Despite the desire for more cancellations, Hastings says Netflix plans to increase its spending on new programming beyond the $6 billion it will spend this year. Increasing competition from Amazon, Hulu, and others means Netflix will have to continue developing new content in order to stand out in the already crowded television market.