7 Netflix shows that were canceled too soon


Netflix has great original series, some of which have lasted many seasons, others that haven’t. In some cases, fans are adamant that shows were canceled before a satisfying end. For the shows that fit this bill and received great reviews both by critics and fans, alike, it came as a huge surprise when Netflix gave them the axe anyway.

From comedies to dramas, expensive productions, and shows for which fans created campaigns to try and bring back (some of which were successful), each of these shows was canceled for different reasons. Sometimes, these shows were given a chance to wrap up their stories. But the common denominator among all these shows, whatever the outcome, is that fans think they were canceled far too soon.

Santa Clarita Diet (2017-2019)

Drew Barrymore in Santa Clarita Diet, her mouth covered in blood, looking terrified.
Erica Parise / Netflix

Zombie shows tend to perform well (ahem, The Walking Dead and all of its spinoffs), despite an influx of them over the last few decades. Santa Clarita Diet was quite well received by viewers and critics, alike, so it came as a surprise when Netflix canceled the comedy horror series after just three seasons.

Drew Barrymore and Timothy Olyphant are hilariously loveable married real estate team Sheila and Joel whose lives are upended when Sheila mysteriously starts exhibiting zombie-like symptoms. She has odd cravings for human flesh and her personality slowly shifts from upbeat and sweet to primal and impulsive. The leads and story were both praised, but be warned that there’s some gore, too.

Watch Santa Clarita Diet on Netflix.

GLOW (2017-2019)

A television victim of COVID-19, when production shut down on the show due to the pandemic, it simply never picked back up. Despite being renewed for what would be a fourth and final season, Netflix reversed the decision and pulled the plug on GLOW. Netflix canceled the show after it went on hiatus and the August 2019 release of season 3 became the last.

A compelling, female-centric story, GLOW centered around a group of women who, through various life circumstances, decide to pursue careers in wrestling. They become the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling (GLOW) and set out to prove that hands-on contact sports aren’t just for men. Set in the ‘80s and starring Alison Brie and Mrs. Davis‘ Betty Gilpin, GLOW is fictional, but it is loosely based on the real syndicated women’s professional wrestling circuit of the same name.

Watch GLOW on Netflix.

Sense8 (2015-2018)

Characters from Sense8 hiding behind a car.
Murray Close / Netflix

One of the most talked about Netflix show cancellations, some believe it was Sense8’s expensive production budget that led to the premature cancellation. The sci-fi drama required filming in various locations around the world thanks to its unique story about a group of people from around the world who are all connected to one another. They are all sensates who are cosmically linked and can take over one another’s bodies.

Sense8 was applauded for its depictions of identity, sexuality, and gender, with a wider focus on empathy and accepting one another for your differences. Hailing from The Wachowskis, fans believed there was so much more story to tell. Online petitions and the hashtag #RenewSense8 were created to urge Netflix to save the show. It worked and the streaming service released a two-hour special to conclude the story.

Watch Sense8 on Netflix.

1899 (2022)

A crowd looks at a mysterious figure in 1899.

So many fans were disappointed when Netflix canceled 1899 mere months after its first (and only) season debuted, despite both fan and critical praise. A period mystery-science fiction series from the creators of the excellent show Dark, 1899 includes dialogue in English as well as several other languages with subtitles, most notably German.

The story is set in that year when a group of European emigrants are traveling to the U.K. on a steamship. Their goal is to start new lives in New York City, but getting there is easier said than done. As the most expensive German series of all time, the production costs measured against viewership might have had something to do with the cancellation. 1899 is yet another show that led to social media frenzy to help save it, including a Change.org petition.

Watch 1899 on Netflix.

Warrior Nun (2020-)

Warrior Nun Season 2 | Official Teaser | Netflix

In an interesting twist, Warrior Nun is one of those shows that was indeed canceled, but a fan campaign to bring it back actually worked. Streaming for two seasons, series creator Simon Barry announced in late June that the fantasy drama would be back in some capacity, likely a third season.

Portuguese actor Alba Baptista narrates the series as Ava Silva, a 19-year-old orphan and quadriplegic. When she discovers she has supernatural powers, Ava joins an ancient order of warrior nuns fighting to banish demons from Earth. But she must also balance the powerful forces of both heaven and hell, which are after Ava, desperate to control her.

Watch Warrior Nun on Netflix.

Inside Job (2021-2022)

A woman riding a piece of machinery in a warehouse with strange creatures on the floor in a scene from Inside Job on Netflix.

Combining adult animated fun with a typical workplace sitcom vibe, Inside Job had a unique position in the TV landscape, but it wasn’t meant to last. Even the top-notch voice cast including Lizzy Caplan, Christian Slater, Tisha Campbell, and Bobby Lee, along with a strong list of guest voice actors like Ana Gasteyer, Henry Winkler, and Star Trek‘s Zachary Quinto, couldn’t save the show.

Executive produced in part by Bojack Horseman director Mike Hollingsworth, Inside Job tells the story of a world where conspiracy theories (think the Earth is flat and the Moon landing never happened) are actually real. It’s up to a shadow government organization called Cognito, Inc. and its tech geniuses and reptilian shapeshifters to keep the truth under wraps. The absurdity of the show’s storylines and mocking of reality drew comparisons to shows like Futuramabut Inside Job did not manage to enjoy the same level of success.

Watch Inside Job on Netflix.

Archive 81 (2022)

A woman holds a camcorder in Archive 81.

There were high hopes for Archive 81 with its compelling premise about a young man who is hired by a secretive company to help them restore video footage. A grad student named Melody was working on a documentary project about an apartment building that burned down. The mysterious organization, for unknown reasons, needs her research.

Based on the podcast of the same name, the supernatural horror reportedly brought in solid viewership numbers when it premiered in January 2022. But Netflix dropped the axe on Archive 81 just two months later. Some sources predict that it was a lack of potential momentum that led the streaming service to decide that Archive 81 would not have staying power.

Watch Archive 81 on Netflix.

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