Netflix’s Cindy Holland Defends ‘One Day at a Time’ Cancellation

Cindy HollandNetflix Executive Address, TCA Summer
David Buchan/Variety/REX/Shutter

The cancellation of the critically acclaimed Netflix series “One Day At a Time” was not an easy decision, according to Cindy Holland, VP of originals for the streamer, but a necessary one.

Speaking Tuesday from the stage of Code Conference in Scottsdale, Ariz. opposite “Russian Doll” star Natasha Lyonne, she explained that as much respect as she had for the show’s creative achievement, it just wasn’t attracting big enough an audience to justify another season.

“It would grow a little bit but we just couldn’t find the broad audience that it could get and deserved to get,” said Holland. “It has to get a big enough audience to justify the cost of it and in that particular case, it didn’t.”

In contrast, she noted that series “Russian Doll” was exceeding Netflix’s audience expectations relative to its cost and had earned a second season, which she revealed at the event for the first time.

Holland also addressed the pending arrival of new market entrants to the subscriber VOD category such as WarnerMedia and Disney Plus. While she explained that no one service stands out as a competitor to Netflix, no one at the company is surprised by the new challengers. “We’ve anticipated all these traditional players would enter our space,” she said. “It’s just taken many years longer than we thought. We welcome it.”

Lyonne credited Netflix for taking a shot on her with both “Russian Doll” and “Orange Is the New Black” as an actress that doesn’t fit the typical molds for most young actresses. Describing it as an “artistic awakening,” she noted, “I could be an odd bird and not 17 and still have ideas? What a revelation. Game changer.”