It has all the makings of a troubling new trend in television — companies taking fully produced and unaired series and slashing them off their books — but insiders hesitate to say if the cancellations are like what. We saw it today on ShowtimeIn addition to what happened at Warner Bros. Discovery, AMC, Netflix, and peacock Over the past few months, it has become the new normal.
They see it as more than a one-time “fit sizing,” as they say.
“I don’t think these companies are going to want to practice this on an ongoing basis,” a partner at the talent agency tells Deadline. “They did and they weren’t burned to the ground by the city, but the reaction was really strong. So, barring any other kind of financial apocalypse or whatever, I think they’re going to want to reassure people that this is something unique that’s based on this.” The unique moment of interest rate shift leading to a change in perception from Wall Street about broadcasting.”
Another high-ranking television agent at a rival agency added, “To spend that kind of money and not air it, believe me, we’re all scratching our heads.” He was speaking specifically On HBO Max’s Decision to Delist minx, the Lionsgate-produced series is about to finish production on its second season. She joined Warner Bros. Discovery victims like Snow holethe animated series Little Ellen In addition to the TBS reality series The Big D and season 2 of Chad. (Starz ended up coming to the rescue minx While The Big D It landed in USA Network And Chad He went to Roku).
AMC followed suit earlier this month with its own surprise blogging run, like the sci-fi comedy Damascus Beside MoonhavenAnd Street 61 And Invitation to a fire. except MoonhavenAll shows have already completed several episodes.
Despite this, the high-profile TV agent continues, his clients aren’t necessarily in a state of panic.
“Most people just look at HBO Max and David Zaslav, in particular, as just someone who cuts budgets left and right and saves money any way they can,” said the TV agent. “It’s especially about him since he’s in power and what the hell’s going on there. AMC has always been the cheapest place to go, and nobody’s surprised by the things they do there. It’s very hard to make deals with them across the board. They’ve always been an outsider in that sense.” But nobody feels, at least not yet, that if they had a show at Netflix, or Amazon or Peacock for that matter, things would shoot and never take off.”
One recently departed WBD executive likened it to an “extreme version” of what used to happen in broadcast television, when the network would quickly pull the plug on an upstart program if its ratings dropped as early as the second or third week. “By then, they were probably in the middle of episode six or seven of a 13-episode order,” recalls the exec, who likened the current downgrades to a much-needed market correction. “There was this kind of drunken sailor effect of throwing money at content to win the streaming wars. That was Netflix’s way of doing things and everybody followed it, just irrationally throwing money at content. That’s obviously a reaction to that.”
But this so-called one-off “right size” could be extended in the coming months if the writers’ strike threat becomes real. Since the 2007-08 picket line has given networks an easy excuse to ax (low-rated) shows like Deft + clever (NBC), Cashmere mafia (ABC) f Girlfriends (CW), it seems pretty certain that more shows — especially ones that haven’t even aired yet — might suddenly find themselves homeless.
“It’s possible that the writers’ strike will increase the number of shows that get canceled before they even air,” said one of the Big Three executives. “Let’s say a network is producing a couple of episodes of a show and they don’t particularly like it and there’s a writers’ strike, damn it, why bring it back? I can see that happening a lot over the next few months.”
A successful streaming series viewer added, “There are a lot of shows out there, so it’s inevitable that if platforms can get a tax deduction or any refund from a show they don’t like, they’ll cancel it outright.”
Peter White contributed to this report.