Netflix loves 10-episode TV seasons and reportedly doesn't see the value in longer original shows

Netflix‘The Punisher’
  • Netflix is increasingly favouring 10-episode seasons for its original series.
  • Deadline reported that Netflix sees little value in shows that exceed 10-episode seasons and 30 episodes overall, which is one reason many Netflix shows get canceled after two or three seasons.
  • Netflix canceled “One Day at a Time” last week after three seasons, and all of its Marvel shows recently after two or three seasons.

There’s a reason you’re seeing TV shows with shorter seasons on Netflix.

When Netflix seriously made the leap into original programming with “House of Cards” and “Orange Is the New Black” in 2013, the seasons were 13 episodes. But recently, Netflix’s original TV shows have been getting slimmer. That’s because the streaming giant has been trimming its live-action TV shows to make them more consumable for binge viewers, according to Deadline.

READ MORE: Netflix’s ‘One Day at a Time’ viewership was on the rise, but not enough to save it from being canceled

Deadline reported that Netflix sees little value in seasons that exceed 10 episodes, or shows that surpass 30 episodes in total. After that, they often become too expensive to continue to invest in (unless it’s a breakout hit that Netflix owns like “Stranger Things”). The shorter the season, the easier it is for new viewers to jump into a show for the first time.

TV shows also can become too costly after three seasons because of the way Netflix’s deals are structured. Costs often increase significantly after a third season, according to Deadline.

Netflix did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

This could explain why Netflix has been cancelling shows that have only had a couple of seasons, like “American Vandal,” which Netflix canceled last year after two seasons; and “One Day at a Time,” which Netflix canceled last week after three seasons.

Netflix said “One Day at a Time” didn’t get a big enough audience. Data provided to Business Insider by analytics company Jumpshot backed that up. The show’s viewership was steadily rising, but never cracked 1 million viewers in the first week of release for a new season. (All three seasons were 13 episodes.)

READ MORE: Netflix canceled ‘The Punisher’ and ‘Jessica Jones,’ but the Marvel TV shows were doomed a long time ago

Netflix canceled all of its Marvel TV shows over the course of the last few months, including “Daredevil,” “Luke Cage,” “Iron Fist,” “Jessica Jones,” and “The Punisher.” All but “Daredevil” and “Jessica Jones” were canceled after two seasons; “Daredevil” was canceled after its third, and the third (and finale) season of “Jessica Jones” will air this year.

Netflix floated the idea that the Marvel shows be cut down from 13-episode seasons to 10-episode ones, before deciding to cancel them, according to Deadline.

Audiences had also lost interest in the Marvel shows over time. Social-media data provided to Business Insider by Crimson Hexagon showed that the online conversation around the Marvel shows had dropped dramatically. And data from Jumpshot showed that viewership for “The Punisher” dropped 40% in its second season before it was canceled.

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.