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New study reveals which streaming service cancels the most shows

Published Sep 15th, 2023 5:06PM EDT
Westworld was canceled by HBO.
Image: HBO

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TV shows have been getting canceled since long before streaming services existed, but as the number of shows has grown exponentially, so have the cancellations. Few streaming TV shows make it past two seasons, and many last just one. But while every streaming service cancels its fair share of shows, a recent study revealed that one stands above the rest.

This week, Variety teamed up with analytics firm Luminate to determine which service cancels shows at the highest rate. The data gathered covers every series canceled between the start of 2020 and August 8, 2023. Every major streamer was included, as were broadcast and cable TV. The results of the study may surprise you:

Cancellation rate of streaming and linear shows from 2020 - Aug. 8, 2023.
Cancellation rate of streaming and linear shows from 2020 – Aug. 8, 2023. Image source: Variety

I wasn’t sure if Netflix would top the list, especially after the Warner Bros. Discovery cancellation spree earlier this year, but I am sincerely surprised to learn it barely cracked the top 5. That said, it’s worth remembering that Netflix produces far more original content than any other streamer — more than a few of them combined. If Apple TV+ were to cancel ten shows, its percentage would skyrocket. Meanwhile, Netflix sometimes releases ten new shows in a week.

Variety also notes that Netflix is the only streamer listed above that improved its cancellation rate every year from 2020 to 2023. That’s cold comfort if you enjoyed Lockwood & Co., Archive 81, or Cowboy Bebop, but an encouraging sign nonetheless.

I also didn’t expect to see Disney+ so high on the list, but the streamer also doesn’t release very many original shows compared to the likes of Hulu, Prime Video, or Netflix. Therefore, it doesn’t take much to raise the rate, and removing dozens of shows will do the trick.

Jacob Siegal
Jacob Siegal Associate Editor

Jacob Siegal is Associate Editor at BGR, having joined the news team in 2013. He has over a decade of professional writing and editing experience, and helps to lead our technology and entertainment product launch and movie release coverage.

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