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24 cancelled Netflix shows that need to be brought back

Why did Netflix ever cancel these fan favourite shows?

Emmy Griffiths

It's never fun for fans when the decision is made to pull the plug on a beloved TV show, and although Netflix regularly delivers with its amazing content, we wouldn't be surprised if almost everyone who used it has had their favourite show cancelled at some point or another. From period dramas to underappreciated animations, here are the shows Netflix should absolutely bring back…

Shadowhunters

Despite having a very, very dedicated fan base, Shadowhunters was cancelled ahead of its planned fourth series. While the show aired on Freeform in the US, it was available via Netflix in the UK, and the Executive Vice President of Programming and Development Karey Burke opened up about the cancellation during a media lunch, telling Deadline: "We were very happy creatively with it.

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"They delivered what the fans wanted... We are very proud of Shadowhunters, a series that broke new ground in the genre world and became a fan-favourite. However, along with our partners at Constantin, we reached the very difficult decision not to renew the show for a fourth season." According to Digital Spy, the show was unable to continue after its production company Constantin Films lost an output deal with Netflix, and as a result was unable to finance another season. 

Anne with an E

Although fans were hoping to see more seasons from the popular CBC/Netflix drama Anne with an E, it has been confirmed that the show's third series will be its last. The popular period drama, based on the bestselling book series Anne of Green Gables, follows a plucky orphan with a love of books and nature, who finds a home and family in Green Gables. The executive producer of the show, Moira Walley-Beckett, confirmed the news that the show won't be returning in a heartfelt Instagram post, writing: "Beloved fans & friends of #AWAE, I’m sorry for the sad Netflix/CBC news today/ I wish it could be different but it cannot. We have reached the end of the red Green Gables road after 3 wonderful seasons."

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Turn Up Charlie

Fans have expressed their disappointed following reports that Idris Elba's Netflix drama, Turn Up Charlie, has been cancelled after just one season. According to the Daily Mirror, the show won't be going ahead after the Luther actor and Netflix didn't see eye to eye on the future of the show. Viewers were quick to share their reaction, with one writing: "Just heard about @idriselba 's #TurnUpCharlie being cancelled. Hey, since it's my 50th #Birthday, can you uncancel it for my present @netflix?"

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V-War

V-Wars, starring Ian Somerhalder, was shelved early in 2020. The creator of the show, Jonathan Maberry, tweeted about the cancellation, writing: "So, I guess the bad news is already out. #vwars." He added that he hadn't been informed that Netflix had made the decision until he had seen an article about it. Replying to a fan who asked him about the cancellation, he wrote: "We're all finding out via the news story," adding that it was a surprise as they "were number #1 in so many global markets".

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October Faction

Sadly for fans, the monster drama was cancelled after lukewarm reviews, receiving just 33% positive reviews from critics on Rotten Tomatoes. According to the VP of content, Cindy Holland, cancellations also depend on how much the show costs to make in relation to how many views it is getting. Speaking at the Code Conference, she said: "The basic calculation is, how much viewing are we getting for what it costs? We also look at, is it reaching different audiences? Is it gaining critical acclaim? Is it doing something for us as a business that we like?"

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Messiah 

The controversial show was cancelled after one season, with star Wil Traval writing on Instagram: "It’s a very sad day today. I have just received news from Netflix that there will be no season 2 of #messiah. I wanted to say to all the fans thank you for your support and love. I wish things were different.” According to Variety, Netflix was reluctant to renew the show for a second season due to the large amount of filming locations around the world, particularly regarding the coronavirus pandemic. 

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Spinning Out 

Despite having an enthusiastic fan base, Netflix has cancelled the popular new drama Spinning Out. The series, which was released on 1 January, follows a young competitive figure skater, Kat Baker, who returns to ice skating following a traumatic fall alongside her new partner, Justin. Keen viewers of the series took to Twitter to persuade Netflix bosses to renew the show, beginning the hashtag '#RenewSpinningOut." Fingers crossed!

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Daybreak

The creators of the popular Netflix show Daybreak, which premiered on the streaming service in late 2019, has confirmed that the dark comedy will not be returning for a second season. Co-creator Aron Coleite shared a statement on Twitter with the caption: "I don't even know how to say this, so we prepared a small statement. Love you all. Thank you!" The statement read: "We learned last week that Daybreak will not be returning for a second season. We’re so sorry we couldn’t share it with you sooner but also grateful that we got to hang out in these last few live tweet sessions with all of you. Thank you for picking up what we put down, for running with it in all of your amazing, weird, monstrous ways and for being such an important part of this show and our experience making it. No one is as heartbroken as we are that we can’t share more of this ride with you. But we’re so grateful to have gotten to bring it this far."

READ: 7 top Netflix shows that everyone is watching right now

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Mystery Science Theatre 3000

Mystery Science Theatre 3000 was cancelled after just two series. The series, which follows a host and his robot friends as they watch a different film in every episode, had a dedicated cult following. The show's star Jonah Ray Rodriguez took to Twitter to announce that it wouldn't be returning to Netflix. Referencing the other shows that Netflix has cancelled, he wrote: "So, Netflix decided to not do another season of MST3K. We are off to Get Down in Lilyhammer while the OA helps us take it One Day at a Time. We will be in group therapy with Tuca & Bertie, Jessica Jones, & Lady Dynamite. The sessions will be run by Gypsy (w/ Naomi Watts)."

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Soundtrack

After just one season of the romantic musical drama, Varieyt confirmed that Netflix has cancelled the all-singing show, which shares love stories from a group of different people living in LA. 

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BoJack Horseman

This was a shocker! BoJack Horseman is finishing after season six, and Aaron Paul revealed that it was the streaming service's decision to end the much-loved comedy. Speaking about the cancellation on Twitter, the Breaking Bad star wrote: "We had a wonderful time making BoJack. Couldn't be more proud. Fell in love with these characters just like everyone else did but sadly Netflix thought it was time to close the curtains and so here we are. They gave us a home for 6 beautiful years. Nothing we could do about it."

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Seven Seconds

The anthology series Seven Seconds, which followed racial tensions in the US after a white police officer accidentally critically injure a black teenager, was cancelled after just one series, despite a star performance from Emmy-award winner, Regina King. At the time, the VP of Original Content at Netflix, Cindy Holland, said: "We loved working with Veena, Regina and the cast and crew of Seven Seconds. Together they created a compelling, timely and relevant crime drama. The first season is a complete, stand-alone story that we are proud to feature on Netflix for years to come."

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American Vandal

Despite being much loved by the people who actually watched it, unfortunately the mockumentary series just didn't get the viewership, and was cancelled after two seasons. At the time, Netflix released a statement which read: "We're very grateful to the creators, writers, cast and crew for bringing their innovative comedy to Netflix, and to the fans and critics who embraced its unique and unconventional humour." Speaking about it's cancellation, one fan wrote: "Imagine making 13 Reasons Why season 3 but not American Vandal season 3? Bruh."

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The OA

The strange and unique story about a missing blind woman, who is found with her eyesight back, had viewers talking – both good and bad. Unfortunately, the show was cancelled after just two series, and ahead of completing the story arc. Creator Brit Marling posted about the situation on Instagram, writing: "Zal and I are deeply sad not to finish this story. It's been an intense journey for everyone who worked on and cared about this story." Rebel Wilson was among those to mourn the loss of the show, and commented on Brit's post: "Congrats on such an awesome, imaginative and creative show." Emma Roberts added: "I'm devastated."

READ: Viewers are saying the same thing about Netflix's The Woods

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Santa Clarita Diet

Despite having a passionate fan base, Drew Barrymore's zombie drama just didn't make the cut, and Netflix confirmed they were cancelling the show after its third series. The co-creators Victor Fresco and Tracy Katsky said: "Netflix took a chance on this odd show and for that we will always be grateful. They were supportive, ever positive, and appreciative of our work. Until about noon today. Still, they were just one phone call away from being a perfect studio. Not bad. Everything ends. This was a thing. And so it ended." Tracy told CNN: "They called us with the news yesterday. We are all so sad. We have loved making it so much."

READ: The best 5 new films and TV shows to watch on Netflix this week

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Sense8

Fans were so outraged when Sense8 was cancelled after its second season – with Netflix's vice president Cindy Holland explaining to Radio Times that "if you don't have the viewership showing up to justify the expense of the series, you're going to want to end it" – that Netflix ended up relenting and giving the show a two-hour finale episode to wrap everything up. At the time, the show's co-creator Lana Wachowski posted a letter to fans which read: "Improbably, unforeseeably, your love has brought Sense8 back to life… It is my great pleasure as well as Netflix's… to announce that there will be another two hour special released next year. Thank you all. Now let's go find out what happens to Wolfgang."

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One Day at a Time

Speaking about season four, Netflix said: "We've made the very difficult decision not to renew One Day at a Time for a fourth season. The choice did not come easily — we spent several weeks trying to find a way to make another season work but in the end simply not enough people watched to justify another season."

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Travelers

Eric McCormack confirmed that Travelers wouldn't be renewed for a fourth season. Posting on Twitter, he said: "A lot of you have been asking about the possibility of a Season 4, but many of you have been saying, 'Look, if this is it, what a moving and surprising and profound ending it is.' Well I'm afraid it is. Who knows what the future holds but Travelers programme one as we call it is complete."

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Designated Survivor

The popular political drama was cancelled in July 2019 after initially being saved by Netflix for a third season. Netflix released a statement which read: "We are proud to have offered fans a third season of Designated Survivor, and will continue to carry all three seasons for years to come. We're especially thankful to star and executive producer Kiefer Sutherland, who brought passion, dedication and an unforgettable performance as President Kirkman." Kiefer seemed happy to let the show go, saying: "I think it's time for us all to go and find something new to do."

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The Good Cop

Sadly for Josh Groban, who played a straight-laced detective who had to deal with his rule-breaking father, The Good Cop was cancelled after just one series. In a statement to Variety, Netflix said: "The Good Cop will not return for a second season. We're grateful to creator Andy Breckman and his fellow producers, writers, the incredible crew and especially stars Tony Danza and Josh Groban for bringing this classic odd couple father-son story to Netflix."

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The Punisher and Jessica Jones

After Iron Fist, Daredevil and Luke Cage were cancelled in a cull of Marvel TV shows, it seemed hardly surprising when The Punisher and Jessica Jones followed suit, despite nearly all of the shows (Iron Fist excluded) garnering positive reviews from critics and fans.

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Speaking about cancelling the two shows, Netflix said: "Marvel's The Punisher will not return for a third season on Netflix. Showrunner Steve Lightfoot, the terrific crew, and exceptional cast including star Jon Bernthal, delivered an acclaimed and compelling series for fans, and we are proud to showcase their work on Netflix for years to come. In addition, in reviewing our Marvel programming, we have decided that the upcoming third season will also be the final season for Marvel's Jessica Jones. We are grateful to showrunner Melissa Rosenberg, star Krysten Ritter and the entire cast and crew, for three incredible seasons of this groundbreaking series, which was recognized by the Peabody Awards among many others. We are grateful to Marvel for five years of our fruitful partnership and thank the passionate fans who have followed these series from the beginning."

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Jessica Jones star Krysten Ritter shared a snap from the last read-through for the show, and wrote: "The final season of #JessicaJones is coming later this year and I am proud of how we complete JJ's journey. I can't wait for you all to see it."

Friends from College

The director of the comedy-drama Friends from College, Nicholas Stoller, announced the news that the comedy was cancelled in a short but sweet message which read: "Friends from College will not be returning for a third season. Thanks to everyone who watched it. Happy Presidents' Day!" Fans were unsurprisingly disappointed, with one writing: "This really and truly SUCKS! This was a clever show that was able to funny and dramatic at the same time. Netflix used to give us something different but now it's letting some of us down with mediocrity."

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Tuca & Bertie

Following the popularity of shows like BoJack Horseman and Big Mouth, it seemed that this animated series about the friendship between two bird women would be a slam dunk. However, it appears season two wasn't to be. The creator, Lisa Hanawalt, took to Twitter to express her disappointment, writing: "Everyone is still glowing over the reviews and articles and feedback. T&B is critically acclaimed and has repeatedly been called one of the best new shows of the year… Best of all, I still get daily messages and tweets from viewers who connect personally to the characters and stories. The birdsona & plantsona fan art is SO incredible, are you kidding me!

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"And the show is still being discovered by new fans every day! None of this makes a difference to an algorithm, but it's important to me and the way I want to continue making art in this world. Thank you to everyone who loves and supports T&B, and to everyone who was comforted and felt like this show gave you a voice. I'm hopeful we can find a home for Tuca & Bertie to continue their adventures."