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An investigation into how Netflix decides what TV shows to cancel and what to renew

The CEO of Netflix said the decision is ’70 per cent gut’


Netflix viewers have been up in arms over the cancellation of 1899 as the streaming site cancelled yet again a favourite amongst fans. 1899 wasn’t the first TV series fans saw Netflix cancel, with First Kill, Warrior Nun and The Midnight Club all being part of the TV series culling. If you care to see just how much fans have been rooting for cancelled shows, all you have to do is read the comment section under any Netflix tweet or Instagram post.

With all the TV series that get cancelled after just one season or after a second season and it’s forever left on a cliffhanger, fans are constantly in a love hate relationship with the streaming service. However, there is one specific way as to how Netflix decides what to keep and what to cancel.

Netflix cancelling shows

via Netflix

The biggest factor is the completion rate of a series. According to Forbes, this is what per cent of a show’s audience actually finishes the show. Forbes said: “Netflix often directly ties which shows get cancelled and renewed to completion rate.” It seems that if a TV series has less than a 50 per cent completion rate, there’s a likelihood of it not being renewed for another season.

Some examples of shows that fans loved but had a low completion rate include Resident Evil, which although had the number one spot, it only had a 45 per cent completion rate. First Kill had a 44 per cent completion rate and as a result it was cancelled. It was reported that 1899 only had a 32 per cent completion rate, and it was later cancelled by the streaming service.

However, it is Netflix that gets the final say. Netflix’s Chief Executive Officer of, Ted Sarandos said: “It’s 70 per cent gut and 30 per cent data. Most of it is informed hunches and intuition. Data either reinforces your worst notion or it just supports what you want to do either way.”

For all the latest Netflix news, drops, quizzes and memes like The Holy Church of Netflix on Facebook. 

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