Netflix’s ‘American Vandal’ is not a series that would normally be pertinent to ScienceFiction.com, but its recent surprise cancellation, as part of a veritable bloodbath on the part of Netflix, may actually give greater insight into the axing of two shows that we have covered quite extensively, ‘Iron Fist’ and ‘Luke Cage’.
For the uninitiated, ‘American Vandal’ is a spoof of another Netflix hit, ‘Making A Murderer’ and similar true crime documentary programs. Tyler Alvarez and Griffin Gluck played Peter Maldonado and Sam Ecklund, a pair of aspiring teenage filmmakers, investigating high school crimes. The first season revolved around a case of vandalism, in which a bunch of teachers’ cars were spray painted with pictures of penises. The second featured Peter and Sam investigating a series of feces-centered attacks at a different school.
While many were stunned by the abrupt cancellation of ‘Luke Cage’, and mildly less-so regarding ‘Iron Fist,’ ‘American Vandal”s axing is a bigger shock. While the Marvel shows on Netflix were, seemingly, popular– Netflix doesn’t disclose its streaming numbers– ‘American Vandal’ was practically a phenomenon, earning excellent reviews and major media coverage. It also managed to gain a lot of this attention without nearly as much advertising and hype as other Netflix break-outs.
In fact, producers, CBS TV Studios have reported that they are already fielding offers from various outlets looking to pick up the subversive hit. It seems that ‘American Vandal’ will live on, with or without Netflix.
Netflix didn’t state why they cancelled ‘American Vandal’. All their statement expressed was:
“American Vandal will not return for a third season. We’re very grateful to the creators, writers, cast and crew for bringing their innovative comedy to Netflix, and to the fans and critics who embraced its unique and unconventional humor.”
Considering that, whatever the streaming numbers for the show were, this series earned buzz that many shows would kill for, there has to be a reason why Netflix felt the need to pull the plug and the most likely explanation is that the show was not produced by Netflix, but rather CBS TV Studios. It seems that the streaming giant, which is spending billions to create original programming is slowly whittling away projects that are sourced from outside.
‘Iron Fist’ and ‘Luke Cage’, as well as the other Marvel shows, come via ABC Studios. While that may not be THE reason these two were cancelled, it clearly didn’t help. ‘Iron Fist’ was dogged by poor streams (reportedly) and vicious criticism. ‘Luke Cage’ was better regarded, but Netflix reportedly didn’t care for the direction the show looked to be taking.
Another series from ABC Studios, ‘All About the Benjamins’ was also recently axed by Netflix..
Obviously, there were probably multiple factors that went into each cancellation, but the fact that Netflix canned a show that seemed to a rock solid hit, like ‘American Vandal’ looks to have shed a bit more light on its Marvel cancellations.
Source: The Hollywood Reporter