1899 Netflix Series: With only one season completed, Netflix has decided to end the show 1899. The show’s creators, Baran bo Odar and Jantje Friese, announced in a joint statement posted to Instagram on Monday.
The statement read, “It is with great regret that we inform you that 1899 will not be renewed.” “We wished we could have completed this incredible journey with a second and third season as we did with Dark. However, outcomes aren’t always predictable. Unfortunately, that’s the way it is.
We realize this will be a letdown for millions of fans worldwide,” the statement continued. However, we would like to express our deepest gratitude for your participation in this incredible journey. We adore you. Try not to forget.
The eight-part series, which premiered on Netflix on November 17, 2022, followed the exploits of a migrant steamship as its passengers made their way westward.
After discovering another migrant ship, the Prometheus, adrift on the open sea, the passengers’ voyage takes a horrifying turn for the worse, leading them to confront a mysterious chain of events.
Emmy Award winner Emily Beecham, along with Aneurin Barnard, Andreas Pietschmann, Miguel Bernardeau, Maciej Musial, Lucas Lynggaard Tnnesen, Rosalie Craig, Clara Rosager, Maria Erwolter, Yann Gael, Mathilde Ollivier, José Pimento, Isabella Wei, Gabby Wong, Jonas Bloquet, Fflyn Edwards, Alexandre Willaume, and Anton
Talking to The Hollywood Reporter, Adar and Friese hinted they were already planning 1899’s second and third seasons.
The show continued Adar and Friese’s previous, three-season series Dark. Friese and Odar are committed to the streamer as they signed an exclusive multi-year overall contract in 2018.
The agreement was Netflix’s first European overall deal, and their first new series together, 1899, premiered on the service.
1899 canceled: Why?
The precise data associated with the show is why this cancellation took so many people by surprise.
For instance, in just its first four days of availability in the middle of November 1899 had already racked up so many hours viewed (over 79 million, to be exact) that it debuted as the streaming giant’s #2 show in the world, just behind The Crown: Season 5.
— Sarabeth Pollock (@SarabethPollock) January 3, 2023
After its initial release, 1899 racked up so many hours of viewing time on Netflix that it stayed in the Top 10 worldwide for an entire month. However, remember that the numbers Netflix reveals for the Top 10 shows are averages.
Though they tell the show’s total viewership, they don’t break down how many of those viewers stuck around for the entirety of the series versus how many tried it out, decided they weren’t interested, and moved on.
First, though, let’s look at the big-picture data from Netflix:
During the week of November 17-20, 1899 made its debut on the streamer’s Top 10 English-language shows chart.
Viewing hours for the year 1899 had reached 79.2 million by that point. (Please remember that this number only represents four days of viewership during Week 1 because the show premiered on November 17). The show had just reached the worldwide #2 spot.
Just saw that 1899 on Netflix was cancelled after 1 season. I’m 5 episodes in. Is it worth finishing?https://t.co/m33FmLgGhO
— Jem Young (@JemYoung) January 3, 2023
November 21-27 marked 1899’s second week on the Top 10 chart (and the show’s first week on the chart). 87.8 million total viewing hours. Ranking? Currently ranked second. A concerning trend emerges during the show’s third week on the chart.
The show’s total hours watched dropped to 44.6 million then, though it remained Netflix’s second most popular original series globally. The following week, week 4 for 1899 in the rankings? More crashing down: With only 27.5 million viewers, the show has dropped to number four worldwide.
This is why l find it better to stick to movies. Why waste so many hours on a series only to find out later it’s canceled? https://t.co/dJIlf0t3IX
— Sajin Shrijith (@SajinShrijith) January 2, 2023
The completion rate is probably to blame
To sum up, 1899 was headed for cancellation due to its rapidly declining viewership and third-party data suggesting that the show’s competition rates were pretty bad.
Preliminary data (h/t What’s On Netflix) suggests that roughly a third of viewers made it through the series. At the same time, UK-based digital analytics company Digital I found that Episodes 1 and 2 of the show saw a significant drop-off in viewership.
As a lot of you may already know… 1899 will not be renewed for a 2nd and 3rd season… We are all truly devastated by this fact. This photo was taken the first night I met these people. You can take away the show, but you can’t take away family🖤 Thank you all for watching
x L pic.twitter.com/HMs8PVDQQ8
— LUCAS LYNGGAARD TØNNESEN🜃 (@Lucashewnut) January 2, 2023
If that’s the case, the cancellation in 1899 makes perfect sense. In fact, after trying a show for the first time, getting busy or bored, and then not getting back to it within the first month, it is available on Netflix is one of the worst signals you can send to Netflix. Netflix takes that as a sign that, for better or worse, you didn’t like this show. Maybe we should slow down here…
The lesson is that new Netflix releases should be binged as quickly as possible within the first month of their availability. Don’t be surprised if people spread #cancelNetflix and “Save this show” petitions.