- Netflix canceled “One Day at a Time” last month, tweeting, “not enough people watched to justify another season.”
- Series producer and writer Norman Lear and star Rita Morena wrote a guest column for The Hollywood Reporter on Wednesday, saying, “something is missing” if data is “the only criterion for survival of a show.”
- Data provided to Business Insider from analytics company Jumpshot shows viewership for “One Day at a Time” was steadily rising over its three seasons, but the show never reached 1 million viewers in the first week of release for a new season.
Netflix canceled “One Day at a Time” last month, saying it was a “very difficult decision” not to renew the series for a fourth season on Twitter. The streaming giant said that “simply not enough people watched to justify another season.”
On Wednesday, series writer and producer Norman Lear and star Rita Moreno wrote a guest column for The Hollywood Reporter defending the series and criticizing Netflix’s decision.
Below is an excerpt from the piece:
“So we’ve learned that evidently all the details are in the ‘data.’ We get it; corporations are responsible to their stockholders. And one could argue that it’s the data — what we’ve known through the years as Nielsen ratings — that inevitably drives the decision-making process. But something is missing if that is the only criterion for survival of a show, the only data point, the only litmus test. Perhaps media has gone the way of managed care — the focus no longer patient and doctor, but bottom line.”
But the reality is that if a show doesn’t have an audience, a network will pull the plug, and Netflix is no different.
“One Day at a Time” was a critical hit (the series has a 98% Rotten Tomatoes critic score), and had a passionate fanbase. But data provided to Business Insider last month by analytics company Jumpshot backs up Netflix’s claim that there wasn’t a large audience for “One Day at a Time.”
The data shows viewership for the show was steadily on the rise from season to season, but still not enough to save it from cancellation. Jumpshot estimated the first season gained 382,000 views in it first week of release; the second season was viewed 481,000 times; and the most recent third season had 647,000 views in its first week, up 34% from season two.
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Some other Netflix shows got more viewers but were still canceled.
“Jessica Jones,” which Netflix canceled earlier this year, reached over 3 million views in the first week after season two was released last year, according to estimates by Jumpshot.
Unlike “One Day at a Time,” Netflix’s “Friends From College” declined in viewership in the first week of release from season one to season two. But the first season was viewed a little less than 1 million times in the first week (the second season dropped to 508,000 views), Jumpshot estimated. Netflix canceled the series last month, shortly after the second season debuted.
The chart below breaks down the numbers:
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