Netflix Boss on ‘Sense8’-’Get Down’ Cancellations: ‘Are People Watching It?’
The Netflix bubble seemingly burst with a one-two punch of both Baz Luhrmann’s The Get Down and the Wachowskis’ Sense8 cancellations. Now, Netflix brass explain their thinking, as well as the reason to “celebrate” failure.
It wasn’t long after the expensive Get Down’s cancellation that Netflix CEO Reed Hastings said “we should have a higher cancel rate overall,” and Sense8 too got its walking papers. Chief content officer Ted Sarandos attempted to provide some context for those remarks at the PGA’s Produced By conference this Saturday, admitting they couldn’t make the production model work (via Variety):
Relative to what you spent, are people watching it? That is pretty traditional. When I say that, a big expensive show for a huge audience is great. A big, expensive show for a tiny audience is hard even in our model to make that work very long.
Sarandos also expanded on Hastings’ comments about a high “hit ratio” negating their ability to cancel more freely:
Not to put words in his mouth, but what he meant was that Silicon Valley celebrates failure. It’s one of those things that you know you’re pushing the envelope if every once in a while you fall. And you go back and start over again. If you have hit after hit after hit, you question yourself — are you trying hard enough? Are you too conventional?
Both The Get Down and Sense8 ranked as some of TV’s most expensive, requiring around $12 million and $9 million an episode, but who next might Netflix decide to cut short?