Netflix has a reputation for axing TV shows after two or three seasons, often to the dismay of fans. But, surprisingly, the streaming service isn’t the worst offender — by a long shot.
That’s according to a study conducted by research firm Luminate in partnership with Variety, which counted up the number of cancellations over the last three years. It found that Max was the most ruthless service, axing nearly 27% of its programs, followed by Disney+ with 21.1% and Paramount+ at 16.9%. Netflix was actually among the most restrained services, having cut only 10.2% of its shows.
The numbers reflect the changing reality of the streaming landscape over the last year, when companies like Disney, Warner Bros. Discovery and Paramount started to look at profitability over subscriber numbers, and the bill came for so many high-budget shows. But for fans, that’s meant a more unstable environment where their favorite shows may not be safe from the ax.
Max’s high number, in particular, reflects the takeover of HBO Max by Discovery and CEO David Zaslav, who went into slash-and-burn mode with a high number of programs, such as Minx, Westworld and Love Life. Likewise, Disney took a $2.4 billion charge to purge a number of shows from Disney+, including high-profile fantasy show Willow.
Disney+’s sister streaming service, Hulu, was right behind Paramount+ with a 15.2% cancellation rate. Paramount notably axed Star Trek: Prodigy and while Star Trek: Discovery ended abruptly after its fifth season.
While these purges seem massive, they’re actually right in line with the broadcast cancellation rate of 26.6% and above the steaming’s overall cancellation rate of 12.2%.
On the other end of the spectrum, Apple TV+ boasted the lowest cancellation rate at 4.9%, which makes sense given its more limited library of catalog, which boasts hits like Ted Lasso and Severance. Cable shows also fared well, with just a 7.2%.
The results show that you probably shouldn’t get too attached to your favorite streaming show — especially if it’s on Max or Disney+.