Netflix announced Oct. 19 that one of Marvel’s superhero shows, “Luke Cage” will not be returning for a third season. This was after a separate announcement that “Iron Fist” will not be returning for another season as well. The cancellation of “Iron Fist” is not that much of a surprise (the first season holds a 19 percent on Rotten Tomatoes and the second season wasn’t much better), but “Luke Cage” was the questionable one. The original idea that Netflix had way back in 2013, was to create a model like the “Avengers,” but for television. Starting off with “Daredevil” in 2015, “Jessica Jones” followed, “Luke Cage” and finally “Iron Fist.”
In late 2017, “The Defenders” premiered on Netflix. It was a mini series that had all the characters interacting with one another. It wasn’t a bad crossover — it just wasn’t as well written as the individual shows.
Since Netflix does not release their viewership data, many are unsure what the reason was for them to put the ax on “Luke Cage.” According to Twitter, engagement for both shows lowered significantly after their second season debut. Meanwhile, “Daredevil” has just premiered its third season and “Jessica Jones” has been renewed for a third one.
Another major argument for the cancellation has been that Disney’s deal with Netflix expires in 2019. Disney is starting its own streaming service and all of the content Disney has placed on Netflix will be pulled from the service. Talks of creative differences, and putting effort into a third season that they don’t own fully, most likely was the final decision to cut the cord. All of this could lead up to Disney making it available on their own streaming service, or a contender like Hulu (that Disney now primarily owns, once the Fox-Disney merger completes). Hulu would be the obvious decision, but it’s clear that unless they change major creative points in both of the shows, they probably won’t be able to take off on a different service.
According to CNN, Netflix added 7 million more subscribers in its last quarter and now has 137 million subscribers globally. As for spending, Netflix said in 2017 they expect to spend $8 billion in 2018 for their original content — but now those numbers are reaching closer to $13 billion. These numbers beat competitors HBO and CBS, spending $2.5 million and $4 billion respectively.
Another popular show, “American Vandal” will not be returning for a third season. Since Netflix doesn’t really own the rights to the show (CBS TV Studios, Funny or Die and 3 Arts Entertainment do) it can potentially live on through a CBS streaming service. The second season of “American Vandal” received positive reviews from viewers and critics, yet Netflix didn’t see potential in a third season. The good news is that it’s being shopped around to other networks and services (similar to how Brooklyn 99 was revived after Fox cancelled it). These cancellations for the most part are depressing, but I think the playing field for streaming will be changing soon — especially with a lot of separate companies pulling their content from Netflix.