It turns out Netflix isn’t the only streamer hit by the cancellation bug.
It’s only a month to 2023, but four of the world’s top streaming services have frustrated fans by removing popular TV shows from their back catalogues.
Per IGN (opens in new tab), Pennyworth – the series about the origins of Batman’s butler Alfred – was canceled by HBO Max after three seasons. Pennyworth only made the leap onto the streaming platform, owned by Warner Bros. Discovery (WBD), in October 2022, following its successful two-year run on Epix (now rebranded MGM Plus).
In the meantime, The mysterious Benedict Society will not advance on Disney Plus. According to co-creator Phil Hay (via ComicBook.com (opens in new tab)), the fan-favorite mystery adventure TV show was not renewed for a third season.
However, it’s Paramount Plus that has seen the biggest upheaval of late. As revealed by The Hollywood Reporter (opens in new tab) (THR) Paramount plans to merge its mainstream streaming platform with Showtime, the studio’s premium television network, which will result in several changes to its program catalogue.
The merger of Paramount Plus and Showtime has not yet officially taken effect. However, Paramount has taken a leaf out of WBD’s book by removing and/or canceling shows from its primary streaming service.
THR’s report confirmed this Let the right one in and American gigolo, both of which premiered on Showtime in late 2022, were canceled after a single season. The Shailene Woodley-directed adaptation of Three womenthat was ready to be released on Showtime isn’t progressing either. jokingly, American Rust, Super pumpedand About becoming a god in Central Florida were also removed from Showtime.
As for the Paramount Plus TV lineup, Vulture (opens in new tab) has reported that Jordan Peeles The Twilight Zone is one of eight TV series that have been removed from the streamer’s back catalog in the past few days. the real world, homecoming, coyote, No activity, culprit, interrogationand The Harper House were also withdrawn from service in the US. TechRadar can confirm that these shows have also been removed from Paramount Plus UK.
It is currently believed that Paramount Plus and Showtime will only merge in North American territories. TechRadar has reached out to Paramount to confirm if the merger will impact audiences in other world regions, and we’ll update this article when we receive feedback.
A messy and maddening streaming start to the year
It may be a new year, but the same old cancellation issues are plaguing the streaming industry.
Previously, Netflix was a leader in angering consumers by canceling fan-favorite shows. The bottom wave of fan-Irish has been palpable at times over the last year and likely contributed to Netflix losing millions of subscribers in early 2022.
This trend has been somewhat reversed by some of the best Netflix shows, including Stranger things season 4 and Wednesday, but the streamer’s problems haven’t entirely gone away. Netflix recently set a deadline for its crackdown on password-sharing between households, and with Netflix’s password-sharing plans fully finalized, it’s possible that some customers will cancel their subscriptions to oppose the latest money-making idea of the streamer to protest.
Still, Netflix isn’t alone when it comes to pissing off customers. Like Paramount, WBD canceled popular shows and removed other fan-favorite series from HBO Max prior to the 2023 merger of HBO Max and Discovery Plus. Elsewhere, Prime Video chose not to renew The wilderness and As we see it (among others) in 2022, while Apple TV Plus recently confirmed it The Mosquito Coast ended after two seasons.
So Paramount Plus appears to be following an industry-wide trend of rebalancing its back catalog as part of cost-cutting efforts, albeit at the expense of consumers. Show and movie cancellations are an integral part of the streaming sector, with studios keeping a close eye on a product’s popularity and weighing that against the financial cost.
Big companies are not immune to the ever-changing tides of the global economy, hit hard by the cost of living crisis, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the Covid-19 pandemic. When you factor these factors into the equation, it’s easy to see why Netflix, HBO Max, Paramount Plus, and other streamers are changing the way they operate and re-evaluating what content is worth creating. That will be of little consolation to fans of the shows listed above and many more, though, especially at a time when movies and TV series offer a much-needed form of escapism for many.
For more streaming coverage, find out what are the top HBO Max shows, top Paramount Plus shows, and top Disney Plus shows.