Netflix had never canceled an original scripted drama series — until this week.
On Wednesday, the streaming service pulled the plug on “The Get Down,” one of the most expensive series in television history, with a first season that cost at least $120 million for 10 episodes. Despite recent assurances that creator Baz Luhrmann that a second season was in the offing, Netflix decided not to move forward with the Sony Pictures Television show.
According to data from research firm Parrot Analytics, U.S. viewer demand for “The Get Down” never matched that of buzzier Netflix shows such as “Stranger Things” and “The Crown.” It also failed to outshine comparable linear series, including HBO’s canceled “Vinyl.”
Parrot uses a proprietary demand-expression metric incorporating desire, engagement, and consumption measurements to gauge audience activity around a show. A report prepared for Variety found activity around “The Get Down” to be minimal in the weeks following its release.
From Aug. 11, 2016 through May 24, 2017, “The Get Down” registered 26.6% of the viewer demand for “Stranger Things” and 83.5% of the demand for “The Crown.” “The Get Down” enjoyed a relatively strong start, with 19.8 million demand expressions in its first week on Netflix. “The Crown” was 8.3% higher with 21.4 million demand expressions in its first week, beginning Nov. 4.
Netflix split season one of “The Get Down” into two parts. While the premiere of part two April 7 gave the series a slight bump in audience demand for two weeks, that bump failed to sustain, with demand quickly regressing to a lackluster baseline.
Parrot also compared demand for “The Get Down” to that for two linear dramas rooted in music — Fox’s “Empire” and HBO’s “Vinyl.” Unsurprisingly, “Empire” — one of the most watched series on television — far outperformed “The Get Down” in audience demand. When compared to “Vinyl,” the “The Get Down” averaged 92% more demand than the HBO show for the Aug. 11-May 24 period. But that’s no great accomplishment, considering that “Vinyl”had been canceled long before that stretch began. In between the premieres of parts one and two of “The Get Down” season one, the series showed a baseline level of demand near or lower than a show that had already been killed.
Looking at international markets, “The Get Down” was far outperformed in Brazil and France by “Stranger Things.” In Brazil, the Luhrmann series performed on par with “The Crown,” with neither able to muster much demand. In France, “The Crown” preformed slightly better.