It turns out that great reviews and a star-studded cast aren't necessarily enough to stop the best Apple TV Plus shows from being cancelled by their streaming overlords. Despite having 97% from the critics on Rotten Tomatoes and voice talent including Josh Gad, Kristin Bell, Kathryn Hahn and Stanley Tucci, Apple has decided not to renew Central Park for a fourth season.
The news was shared on social media by Gad, who in addition to starring in the show is its co-creator alongside Nora Smith and Bob's Burgers' Loren Bouchard. Apple has now confirmed to Variety that Gad is correct, making this the third recent high profile cancellation at the streamer: Apple has also decided not to renew the similarly high-scoring Swagger and The Afterparty too.
Why has Central Park been cancelled?
Neither Josh Gad nor Apple have said why the show is being cancelled. On Threads, Gad simply posted "Sadly, it's done".
Apple doesn't usually talk about viewing numbers unless they're really, really amazing, but the most likely explanation is that, as with other shows, Central Park simply isn't doing enough numbers to make Apple want to spend more money on it.
Although Apple TV Plus acquired the show in a wallet-waving bidding war, that was back in 2018. For the streaming industry, 2018 was an eternity ago. It was the middle of what Variety calls "the Peak TV bubble", the pre-strikes, low borrowing cost period where multiple streamers threw money around like confetti in order to boost their rosters and attract new subscribers.
The streaming and financial landscapes are very different now, with all the best streaming services taking a long hard look at their catalogs and looking for savings. Not only that, but some of them are thinking the previously unthinkable and either entering into bundling deals with other streamers or at least actively exploring the possibility of doing so. It's not that Apple felt Central Park was a bad show, it's just that it wasn't reaching the audience Apple wanted to reach.
All three seasons of Central Park are still available to stream on Apple TV Plus.
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Writer, broadcaster, musician and kitchen gadget obsessive Carrie Marshall (Twitter) has been writing about tech since 1998, contributing sage advice and odd opinions to all kinds of magazines and websites as well as writing more than a dozen books. Her memoir, Carrie Kills A Man, is on sale now. She is the singer in Glaswegian rock band HAVR.