Does a Netflix Cancellation Mean the Same Thing as on Network TV?

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Netflix has become a lifesaver in the ocean of network TV cancellations over the past year, but the same can’t be said for its own original series of late.

Lifetime’s former You was salvaged by Netflix before the end of 2018 and it has become an overnight hit on its new home this year. But in recent weeks, the streaming giant gave the boot to three of its series — Jessica Jones, The Punisher, and Friends from College. Sure, these titles may not be its biggest hits like Stranger Things, Black Mirror, The Crown, and House of Cards, but they weren’t unknowns either, so what gives?

Well, there are a number of factors that come into play, but one obvious one for Jessica Jones and The Punisher is they belong to Marvel, which means they also technically belong to Disney. In case you hadn’t heard, Disney is launching its own streaming service called Disney+ which is slated to launch this fall.

Considering the platform will be in direct competition with Netflix, removing any of their titles — including Marvel shows and films — will give them a leg up over other streamers that are missing titles. Unfortunately for fans of Jessica Jones and The Punisher, as well as those of the previously canceled Marvel shows Daredevil, Iron Fist, and The Defenders, they aren’t likely to see the shows again.

Marvel’s The Defenders

And after being axed from Netflix, there’s no guarantee these shows will find new life on the Disney+ platform. That said, fans of Jessica Jones have at least been promised the show’s third and final season. Meanwhile, Netflix’s other big cancellation, Friends from College, serves as a bit of a surprise considering the buzz around Season 2, but in this case, Disney isn’t involved which means that Netflix canceled the show of its own volition.

Could Friends from College be saved somewhere else, Netflix-style? It’s difficult to say because, as of now, no shows from the service have been saved after being axed by the streaming service — apart from the minor renewal of Sense8 for a special two-and-a-half-hour finale episode.


Meanwhile, Netflix has been hailed by viewers for saving titles they would have sorely missed. Among some of the streamer’s more recent pick-ups are Fox’s former Lucifer, ABC’s former Designated Survivor, and the aforementioned You. Apart from revivals and reboots such as Fuller House, One Day at a Time, Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life and Arrested Development — all of which originated from network shows — Netflix continues to pave the way for where streaming is headed.

Saving shows is one thing, but it sure seems like Netflix is the place where, when a show dies, it dies for good. Time will tell, but right now, the rules of television cancellations just don’t seem to apply to streaming.