The first season of the mystery-thriller Netflix series “1899,” which was set on a steamer carrying European immigrants at the turn of the 20th century, has been canceled.
Jantje Friese and Baran bo Odar, the minds behind Netflix’s prior success with German language programming, “Dark,” oversaw the international production of the series, which debuted on November 17, 2022. Emily Beecham, Aneurin Barnard, Andreas Pietschmann, and Miguel Bernardeau were all part of the cast of “1899.”
They had intended to present a comprehensive story over three seasons, much like “Dark,” Odar revealed on Monday in a dejected Instagram post co-signed with Friese. Odar and Friese stated in their letter, ” We want to thank you from the bottom of our hearts that you were a part of this fantastic trip,” while also admitting the disappointment the news would cause among followers.
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Given that “1899” shot to the Number 2 spot in Netflix’s rankings in its first week of availability, as reported by The Wrap, the cancellation seems to be indicative of a pattern of hasty decisions made by the streaming site.
Shows Canceled by Netflix
A few short years ago, streaming services appeared to be invincible titans, but it now seems like the dragon’s scales are beginning to fall, as cancellations like those of “1899” become increasingly frequent. Only the most culturally powerful shows, like “Stranger Things,” appear to be immune to the axe at Netflix, where being popular is no longer enough to guarantee a show’s continuation.
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Variety reports that Big Red canceled 20 shows in 2022 alone, several of them were unquestionably successes. For instance, “The Baby-Sitters Club” was not renewed for a third season despite winning two Emmys and having a loud audience. Then there was the comic book adaptation “Warrior Nun,” which peaked at number seven on Netflix during its second season before being canceled.
HBO Max, on the other hand, has been as harsh, scrapping hugely successful shows like “Westworld” and nearly finished movies like “Batgirl.” The latter was probably completely wiped from its repertoire to avoid paying royalties to creators (per Variety). There have been hundreds of episodes retired, including ones from the “Sesame Street” archives.
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Streamers are coming up against a fundamental flaw in their economic model amid declining stock prices and pickier subscribers. The hard truth is that marketplaces are finite and already oversaturated, thus in order to appease investors, they must increase the number of subscribers they have each year.
Though they might prevent some current Netflix users from canceling their subscriptions, shows like “1899” aren’t expected to bring in many new users. Netflix seems to believe that canceling the show will result in more financial savings than renewing it, but if this reasoning is taken to its logical conclusion, it will be the end of the era of high-quality streaming.