Watching a Netflix show that you are really into can be enticing with prospects that you have something to see for a long run.
But then, just as you are getting settled in -- after say, just watching your second season -- you get word that Netflix is canceling it. You are pissed.
But perhaps you should not be. This is pretty average for Netflix.
This comes when a seemingly popular Max series -- “Winning Time” -- is stopped after three seasons -- shocking many. But in theory, it is just the new way for streaming platforms. Netflix, for example, on average, stops a lot of shows after two seasons. (We don't know the average for Max).
Much of this comes down to consumer adjustment. Typically, scores of new linear TV shows each season barely make it through their first season before getting the axe.
As we know, Netflix typically commits to releasing to a full season --- ahead of time. The whole bingeing thing is one big positive for its subscribers. You can typically see a season's worth of TV episodes of a new TV season over a weekend.
That might sound expensive for Netflix to do. But Netflix typically runs only 10-episode seasons -- while TV networks, especially CBS, can commit to as many as 22 episodes a year.
While new streamers might be adjusting to this lower number as well, Netflix continued to be one of the few streamers that releases a full season worth of episodes all at once.
Now ask yourself -- has this two-and-out process hurt Netflix? Not really.
That's because it continues to process many new shows you probably have not seen. There are also those recommendation reminders it continues to feed its loyal subscribers.
Typically, the likes of Disney+, Paramount+ and Peacock continue to deliver its streaming content mapped at one episode at a time. Much of this is pegged to how linear TV sister networks still operate.
What happen with Max and “Winning Time”? No doubt some internal data has in fact shown viewership was declining. If “Winning Time” were a linear TV network show -- where Nielsen-measured viewing data is released publicly and regularly -- loyal viewers of the show might not be so outraged.
Of course, Warner Bros. Discovery's Max has publicly made it a point -- the first of the major premium streaming platforms -- to focus on cutting costs, including removing popular library content from the platform to sell to third-party TV networks and distributors to boost better financial metrics.
Max may be a different story. The high-profile cancellation of the expensive “Batgirl” movie, slotted for the then HBO Max was seemingly an easy decision to make in the wake of WBD's need to lower its soaring debt situation related to Discovery Inc.’s purchase of Warner Media.
Still, others may just call it poor planning -- or just a bad movie. ”That film was not releasable,” says Peter Safran, co-chair and chief executive officer at Warner's DC Universe, recently. “And it happens sometimes.”
And if a TV show -- seemingly a popular one at one time -- is not cutting it, it will stop suddenly. That happens sometimes as well.