Netflix aren’t really known for canceling a lot of their original shows, but over 20 in-house projects have been canned after just one season, and most of them never really managed to capture the public’s imagination, which is why they flew largely under the radar. However, three recent cancellations drew plenty of backlash from fans, especially when two of them had already been renewed.
I Am Not Okay With This and The Society both appealed to roughly the same demographic, and subscribers were up in arms when the streaming service backtracked on their initial decision to have both return for a second run of episodes. Altered Carbon was also given the boot, of course, although the sci-fi series at least managed to last for two seasons. All things considered, it looked as though Netflix were trying to cut back on their lavish spending, even in a year where they’d pledged to drop almost $20 billion on original content.
Altered Carbon was obviously a very expensive show, and although official figures were never revealed, it was rumored to cost $7-10 million per episode. Viewing numbers for the first season were very low by Netflix standards, too, with just 1.2 million people checking it out in the first three days, and the fact that the company never even released the data for the next batch of episodes would lead you to think it was even lower.
In a recent interview, season 1 star Joel Kinnaman admitted that he was disappointed to see Altered Carbon bite the dust, but his comments make it sound as though he knew full well the viewership numbers just weren’t there to make it a viable commodity.
“Yeah, I would’ve loved to see it carry on. I felt the concept of having a new actor play the main character every season was a really unique thing, so I would’ve loved to see that. If the show would’ve done better, then more people would’ve loved the upcoming seasons, and more people would’ve come back to the first season. You always want people to see your work, right? So that was a little disappointing, but I was so disconnected from that. I’d done so many things in between, so I didn’t really have that strong of an emotional connection to it anymore. But I was sad to see that they didn’t find a reason to continue.”
There’ve been rumors that Altered Carbon could be shopped around Hollywood to see if there’s any interest in picking it up, but if even Netflix had concerns about the budget, then there probably won’t be many other companies willing to foot the bill.