Netflix has cancelled Baz Luhrmann’s The Get Down after one season.
The cancellation brings an official end to a series that was plagued by behind-the-scenes troubles and failed to connect with viewers in the ways that buzzy Netflix hits such as Stranger Things and Orange is the New Black have.
Season 1 of the coming-of-age show set in 1970s New York and framed by disco and early hip-hop music premiered in two parts, with the second part debuting on the streaming service in April to little fanfare. The first part of season one, which premiered last year, drew 3.2 million total U.S. adults 18-49 in its first 31 days, according to Symphony Advanced Media — roughly one fifth the audience that viewed Orange is the New Black Season 4 in its first 31 days.
Produced by Sony Pictures Television, The Get Down was the most expensive original series in Netflix’s history, costing at least $120 million US to produce. The series was one of the most costly in Hollywood history. As Variety reported last year, production on the show was stopped and started so many times that some writers on the series began to jokingly call it “The Shut Down.”
It follows Vinyl, another music-based show set in 1970s New York debuting in 2016 with a big-name director attached (Martin Scorcese), in failing to resonate with the public.
Luhrmann, a filmmaker known for elaborate feature film hits (Moulin Rouge! and Romeo + Juliet) and flops (Australia) said at the time that he felt overwhelmed by his role as showrunner and had considered abandoning the project.
“I really believed that I was sort of going to be an uncle to the project,” Luhrmann told Variety last year. “The mechanism that pre-existed to create TV shows didn’t really work for this show. At every step of the way there was no precedent for what we were doing. The standard process really didn’t work, so progressively, I was drawn more and more into the center of it.”