Netflix has announced that its heavily stylized Baz Luhrmann series The Get Down will be cancelled after only one season. The Get Down is a musical drama set in the Bronx at the end of the 1970s. The series follows the lives visionary young men and women began creating their own type of musical culture which reflects their daily lives: hip-hop. The first season was split into two halves, with the first half released in August 2016 and the second half just last month. The Get Down was Netflix’s most expensive production to date and one of the costliest series in Hollywood history, with a reported production cost of over $120 million.
Despite some serious on-screen star power (Jaden Smith, Giancarlo Esposito), the series has struggled to connect with viewers. Viewership totals for the first season were fractions of those seen by other Netflix original series. What’s more, rumors of behind-the-scenes troubles and an overwhelmed Luhrmann made for a bad combination. Luhrmann told Deadline that the lengthy, elaborate production of The Get Down simply became too much for him to handle given his existing commitments to full-length feature projects:
When I was asked to come to the center of The Get Down to help realize it, I had to defer a film directing commitment for at least two years. This exclusivity has understandably become a sticking point for Netflix and Sony, who have been tremendous partners and supporters of the show. It kills me that I can’t split myself into two and make myself available to both productions. I feel so deeply connected to all those who I have worked and collaborated with on this remarkable experience. But the simple truth is, I make movies. And the thing with movies is, that when you direct them, there can be nothing else in your life.
The Get Down now has become one of only six Netflix series which have been canceled; given how much money as the streaming service is throwing at new series, however, one thing is certain: The Get Down won’t be the last.