More Details On Netflix’s Marvel Cancellations

More Details On Netflixs Marvel Cancellations

Five years and five full series (plus one event series) later, Netflix and Marvel finally called it fully quits the other day – the former cancelling the last two of their collaborations with the axing of “The Punisher” and “Jessica Jones”.

All of the series are being seen as early victims of petty internal politics, shows sacrificed on the cancellation altar to help bring about the rise of the Disney+ streaming service and the seismic shift in the streaming landscape as the four biggest of ‘the big six’ film studios launch three separate streaming services in the next year.

Now, The Live Feed has done a feature piece going into why Netflix has been cancelling these shows and it comes partly down to one of ownership – Netflix did not have an ownership stake in any of its Marvel TV series with each owned by Disney and Netflix paid a steep licensing fee for each season.

Disney fully owns essentially all of its Marvel fare that’s still left including ABC’s “Agents of SHIELD,” Freeform’s “Cloak and Dagger,” the four animated series + special just announced by Hulu along with that service’s “The Runaways,” and Fox’s “The Gifted” which they’ll fully have to themselves once the Fox takeover deal is done and dusted in the next few weeks.

An even bigger issue was the expense. Netflix doesn’t release stats but third-party measurement companies of the Marvel series showed significant viewership drops year-over-year on all of the Marvel series – not a good thing for what were very costly series to begin with.

Not only did they require big production & marketing budgets and on top of the high licensing fees, but many suffered from showrunner changes (sometimes multiple) and vocal unhappiness from both fans and Netflix over the bloated thirteen episodes-per-season count stipulated in the original agreement.

Additionally in the case of “Jessica Jones,” showrunner Melissa Rosenberg left after production on season three was already completed while actors on the series were fielding offers for the broadcast pilot season and so the cancellation announcement this early lets them out of their contract to take other jobs.

Their axing marks only the start of content being pulled from Netflix with both Warners and Comcast expected to pull back their libraries of series content for their own services in coming months.