According to Parrot Analytics, a data science company that measures the worldwide audience demand for TV content, at the time of its cancellation, ‘Luke Cage’ was 46% more popular than ‘Iron Fist’ which got the ax a week earlier. Parrot Analytics was hired by Screen Rant to examine the seemingly shocking recent cancellations by Netflix. Because Netflix doesn’t reveal its streaming numbers to the public, third-party resources have been tapped to examine things like social media and file sharing to glean a better understanding as to why shows that many assumed were popular had their plugs pulled.
Parrot Analytics compiled the following chart to compare the popularity of the Marvel Netflix shows as well as ABC’s ‘Agents of SHIELD’, which shockingly is more popular than them all.
Even the two lowest ranked, ‘Iron Fist’ and ‘Defenders’, are listed as “Good” which is above “Average.” But it does appear that both ‘Iron Fist’ and ‘Luke Cage’ lost two-thirds of their audience from season to season. And both are expensive shows to produce– rumored to be in the $40 million range per season. Reportedly, the “creative differences” that derailed ‘Luke Cage’ include the desire on Netflix’s part to pare its now aborted third season from 13 episodes to 10.
The fact that Netflix also cancelled a much more buzz-worthy series, ‘American Vandal’, may offer insight as it is believed that that series was cancelled because it originated at an outside studio, CBS Television. The Marvel shows come from ABC Television. It looks as though Netflix, who is spending billions on original programming, might be looking to cut cost by eliminating shows from outside studios, to whom licensing fees must be paid.
Marvel Television may decide to shop the shows around to other outlets, but it will be hard to find one that can carry these R-rated productions. Some have speculated that parent company Disney could offer them on their Disney+ streaming service, but that is for family-friendly material only. But a for-pay service could potentially pick them up, if it wanted to.
Would you like to see more of ‘Luke Cage’ or ‘Iron Fist’?