Netflix canceled another TV show last week – but you might not have noticed

Katharine Langford holding a sword in Cursed.
(Image credit: Netflix)

Netflix has reportedly canceled Cursed, the Arthurian legend-inspired fantasy drama that launched last year on the streaming service. 

Deadline revealed this, but it's possible you might not have noticed – the news broke last Friday, the same day Netflix had a big streaming event called WitcherCon to promote the upcoming release date of The Witcher season 2 in December. The news of another fantasy drama's demise, then, seems like small potatoes compared to the return of the streamer's Henry Cavill-starring mega hit.

Cursed's cancelation is no surprise. The show released almost exactly a year ago, and the fact we didn't hear anything about a renewal in 2020 basically spelled doom for the show – still, it's nice that fans of the series got to find out its fate.

The news broke at this time because the cast members have been released from their contracts, according to the report.

Cursed drew okay reviews for Netflix, with 67% positive notices from critics according to Rotten Tomatoes. Releasing in the midst of the pandemic last year, too, when hunger for any new content was high, no doubt helped it find a fanbase. 

Katherine Langford starred in the show, which was essentially an origin story for the Lady of the Lake from Arthurian legend, with something of a YA novel spin. Interestingly, one of the series' co-creators was Frank Miller – the influential comic book writer behind Sin City, The Dark Knight Returns and Daredevil: Born Again.

Netflix has canceled a few shows this year, including superhero drama Jupiter's Legacy, Sherlock Holmes-flavored drama The Irregulars and the comedies The Crew, Mr Iglesias, Bonding, and Country Comfort. Since it only releases selective data about its shows – usually when a series does well – it's hard to draw many conclusions about why a series gets canned.

Is this a big deal?

Every time Netflix cancels a TV show, the comments are pretty similar – that the streamer cancels too many series. Last year, the streamer defended its 'renewal ratio' (the percentage of shows it brings back for another season) as the "industry standard", putting the number at 67%. 

Shows get canceled all the time. HBO recently decided not to bring supernatural drama Lovecraft Country back for a second season, which generated disappointment from fans. Other series canned this year include Rebel on ABC in the US, or Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist on NBC.

A slight difference with Netflix is that it distributes all of its own shows globally. So, when a series gets canceled, it won't just have fans in the US – it might have a fanbase in Australia, or France, or Japan. That means it seems like a bigger deal when Netflix cancels something, because its shows are so easy to access. 

The lack of data released by the service also means it can feel like a surprise when something does get canned. Seeing a show reach number one on the Top 10 list is no guarantee it'll come back for a second season – as anyone who watched Jupiter's Legacy can attest. 

Samuel Roberts

Samuel is a PR Manager at game developer Frontier. Formerly TechRadar's Senior Entertainment Editor, he's an expert in Marvel, Star Wars, Netflix shows and general streaming stuff. Before his stint at TechRadar, he spent six years at PC Gamer. Samuel is also the co-host of the popular Back Page podcast, in which he details the trials and tribulations of being a games magazine editor – and attempts to justify his impulsive eBay games buying binges.