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Netflix’s Ted Sarandos Stands By Cancellations: ‘If You’re Not Failing…You’re Not Trying Hard Enough’

Despite some contentious cancellations, Netflix execs says the streaming giant has renewed 93% of its original series.

"Bloodline," "The Get Down" and "Sense8"

“Bloodline,” “The Get Down” and “Sense8”


Netflix executives put a positive spin on recent cancellations, noting a 93% renewal rate for original programming, which they say is much higher than most traditional television networks. In an interview with investors discussing second quarter results, chief content officer Ted Sarandos emphasized the need to take creative programming risks: “If you’re not failing, maybe you’re not trying hard enough,” he said.

The streaming platform upset fans earlier this year when it announced it would not renew two high-profile shows: The Wachowski siblings’ “Sense8,” and Baz Luhrmann’s “The Get Down.” Both shows reportedly had very high production budgets. The critically lauded “Bloodline,” a thriller from the creators of “Damages,” was also canceled. “The more shows we have, the more likely in absolute numbers that you’ll see cancellations, of course,” Sarandos said.

Though Sarandos compared Netflix’s 93% renewal rate to networks that cancel a third of their series, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings looked to YouTube as a benchmark for streaming numbers. “I’m not sure we are leading [streaming video], when you look how far ahead YouTube is,” he said. “Now you might say, well, it’s different content but it’s still very engaging for the audience that is choosing it,” reports Variety.

Riding the success of “Stranger Things,” “The Crown” and “House of Cards,” Netflix racked up 91 Emmy nominations. Comedies “Master of None” and “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” also received best series nods. With numbers like that, Netflix certainly isn’t missing mourning the loss of its canceled shows — even if the fans are. 

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