In Wake of ‘The Get Down,’ Netflix CEO Wants More Cancellations

Things just seem to keep getting better for Netflix all the time. Subscribers keep pouring in, critically acclaimed content keeps pouring out, and the streaming service has expanded its reach to over 190 countries. Many of Netflix’s original series have won major television awards, and the streaming service has even ventured into the red carpeted world of international film festivals, generating buzz (and some mild controversy) with their recent Cannes premieres. With so much success, it’s a bit odd to then hear Netflix CEO Reed Hastings state that he would like to see more Netflix series get cancelled, yet that’s exactly what he told a recent TV interviewer.

Hasting’s statement comes just weeks after one of the most expensive Netflix series ever made, The Get Down starring Jaden Smith, was cancelled after just one season. The production of The Get Down was reportedly difficult and frequently delayed, so the cancellation perhaps shouldn’t be too much of a surprise. Yet in an interview with CNBC’s Julia Boorstin, Hastings said that he feels more of their series should be regularly cancelled:

What really matters is I hope our hit ratio is way too high right now,” Hastings told diverting the conversation back to the company’s success rate. “We’ve canceled very few shows. I’m always pushing the content team: ‘We have to take more risk, you have to try more crazy things. Because we should have a higher cancel rate overall.’

Reed’s statement doesn’t necessarily imply any ill wishes to specific Netflix series, but shows that he’s willing to experiment with innovative new series to see what might surprise hits might resound with their audience. The unique visions of recent series like Stranger Things, The OC, and yes, even The Get Down show that even streaming services can indeed push the envelope when it comes to creative vision. You have to break a few eggs to make an omelette, and if it takes the cancellations of a few more The Get Downs to find a few more Stranger Things, I say cancel away.