We reported to you on the cancellation of Sense8, and how that made our hearts sing. We also reported to you on a petition to save Sense8, a petition that went nowhere. Now we’re bringing to an explanation from Netflix itself on why Sense8 was cancelled and the petition to save it went nowhere.
Now recently, Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos spoke at the PGA’s Produced By conference this weekend, as reported by Variety . During a conversation with Jerry Seinfeld – whose hit webseries Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee is moving to the streaming service – Sarandos explained that the cancellations of The Get Down and Sense8 ultimately came down to economics:
Relative to what you spent, are people watching it? That is pretty traditional. When I say that, a big expensive show for a huge audience is great. A big, expensive show for a tiny audience is hard even in our model to make that work very long.
We couldn’t support those economics. If you put all your money into something that a very few people are watching, eventually you’ll have nothing for people to watch. … But relative to what it cost to make [The Get Down], we couldn’t put together enough audience to support those economics. … Similarly, the audience [for Sense8] was very passionate but just not large enough to support the economics of something that big, even in our platform.
My take: looks like common sense rules over at Netflix, and margins are so tight they cannot even dream of subsidizing even one show for a minority audience, no matter how insane an audience. Sounds like the sensible thing to me. I’m just surprised Sense8 made it two seasons before getting cancelled.