Why One Day at a Time, Marvel shows, and more likely won’t be saved by networks

Photo Credit: One Day at a Time/Netflix, Acquired From Netflix Media Center
Photo Credit: One Day at a Time/Netflix, Acquired From Netflix Media Center /

After Netflix canceled the Marvel shows, One Day at a Time and other popular networks, fans pushed for other networks and streamers to pick them up. This likely isn’t happening thanks to Netflix contracts.

If you had hoped that One Day at a Time, the Marvel-Netflix shows and other prematurely canceled Netflix Originals would find a new home, you may be sadly disappointed. Thanks to the contracts that Netflix sets up, this is highly unlikely to happen. And it looks like Netflix is completely reshaping the way TV shows run.

There was hope that Sony TV would find a new home for One Day at a Time after its premature and unfair cancellation earlier in March. According to Deadline, there were talks about it moving to CBS All Access, the CBS streaming service. However, the Netflix contract got in the way.

Contracts keep shows from moving

If the show would move to the live channel, it probably wouldn’t be as much of a problem. The contracts state that networks need to wait a few months for the live airings. However, One Day at a Time would likely perform better on a streamer. The same applies to other Netflix Originals. The Netflix contracts state that two or three years need to pass before the shows can air on the streaming platforms.

By the time the years have passed, the actors will have moved onto new projects and there wouldn’t be as much of a buzz around most projects — although I could see One Day at a Time being a Firefly-like exception to that, with fans still calling for a revival to this day. In a sense, Netflix is making it impossible for streamers to save its canceled shows, despite saving network TV’s canceled shows.

Not only that, but Netflix contracts also make it clear that the Originals will remain on the service indefinitely. Another streamer would want to make the content exclusive to its service but couldn’t get exclusivity to the earlier seasons. It would make the show less valuable.

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Changing the way of renewals

Also, due to Netflix’s distribution and cost model, the chances of a show going past the third season are getting more and more unlikely. A show needs to be a major hit, and even then that’s not a guarantee.

The cost model means that the third season and beyond cost significantly more than the earlier seasons and much more than network TV spends on later seasons. It’s not just the rising costs of the stars but the costs of production and other requirements.

While a second season may be common for shows that have performed relatively well, if that show doesn’t find its legs then it’s not getting a third season. The renewal criteria is extremely strict, much stricter than network TV and some other streamers’ criteria.

Some shows are almost guaranteed renewals. Stranger Things is owned purely by Netflix, has merchandise that continues to boost profits during the off-season and offers a boost to subscriptions when the seasons drop. Shows that get major recognition at awards ceremonies will also help secure renewals, which means a show like The Crown is pretty safe. Critical acclaim can also help, securing the likes of Frankie and Grace and BoJack Horseman.

No longer is success deemed purely by the number of seasons but by the success outside of the show. The streaming service’s model is changing a lot of the way we’ll start viewing TV shows and gone are the days where we’ll see shows like SupernaturalNCIS, and Grey’s Anatomy which have all landed renewals into the teens.

What do you think about the way Netflix’s model is changing the TV landscape? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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