Netflix Just Canceled Its Best French Series: A Painful Symbol

Series Funny unfortunately ends after only one season, due to disappointing ratings. This will permanently remove the illusion of platforms as ‘creative oases’ that the French creative industry had hoped for.

It is a decision that will disappoint viewers, but above all sends a sad signal to the French fiction-creation industry. Series FunnyPut online on March 18, 2022 after more than three years of development, will not have a Season 2, the Inrockuptibles reveal on May 12.

We have made the difficult decision not to renew Funny for a second season, after almost three years of collaboration and a fruitful collaboration with Fanny Herrero, Les Films du Kiosque and the whole team. Our subscribers didn’t find their account there Netflix explained to Inrocks.

The message is crystal clear: the viewership recorded on the video-on-demand (SVOD) platform in the past two months was not high enough to bet on a second season. And this, even though it was already written.

The funny series on Netflix // Source: Mika Cotellon/Netflix

Why Netflix’s cancellation of Funny is painful

Some would say it’s the law of series, both in France and elsewhere: broadcasters are tied to target audience objectives, be it a linear TV channel or a platform streaming on demand. Whoever has the grants – Netflix was the broadcaster and co-producer here – must be able to find their way financially.

However, the symbol is painful. First, because the decision may seem abrupt: after three years of development, it may seem tough to leave only two months for a project to find its audience.

The decision also stings because Funny was clearly the best French series Netflix has launched since its debut. Fanny Herrero, the showrunner, is behind the great success Ten percent, a project that had been in the boxes of the French audiovisual sector for more than a decade and which it had managed to appropriate and turn into an exceptional success (we know about ten remakes from all over the world). Three years ago, Netflix France’s creative director Damien Couvreur and his teams were thrilled with the idea of ​​developing his next production, giving him the time and freedom to do so.

According to our information, the production companies that exchanges with Netflix France today rather hear that it is necessary to bet on lighter series, closer to the soap† The aim is probably to emulate the successes of the public fromEmily in Paris or from The Bridgerton Chroniclebut far from shining for their script quality.

Daphne and Simon in the Bridgerton Chronicle // Source: Netflix screenshot
Daphne and Simon in the Bridgerton Chronicle // Source: Netflix screenshot

Netflix is ​​not the “great savior” of French screenwriters

The signal being sent to the entire industry is quite serious. You have to go back to a not so distant era to understand it. Before the era of platforms, some ten years ago, French screenwriters had to follow a marked path to create their works: to join a production company, which would make the link with linear broadcasters, few – TF1, France Télévisions, M6, the very popular Canal+, or the new low-budget like OCS.

The arrival of Netflix and other Amazon Prime Video in the French original production ecosystem has brought a breath of hope to French fiction: more potential broadcasters means more chances to see the project succeed. More interestingly, the platforms had a reputation for being less guided by direct audience logic, as the content stays online forever and can take advantage of second wind.

However, it was an error of judgment fueled by a lot of hopes, a few fantasies and a certain amount of storytelling on the part of the platforms, who always preferred to talk about creativity what of? figures† But the facts are rawer: the law of numbers applies to all broadcasters, linear or not.

Netflix is ​​currently in a complicated patch, with 200,000 subscribers lost for the first time in a quarter. In fact, the company plans to launch cheaper offerings, but with ads, forgoing one of the basics. But the cancellation waves of productions that don’t attract enough subscribers are not new.

In 2017, the platform faced a lot of criticism for canceling two series in quick succession, Sense8 et going down, which emphasized gender minorities and racialized people. At the time, observers seemed to discover that Netflix, like everyone else, was ruled by the logic of audiences and profitability.

Netflix, Amazon Prime and soon HBO Max… These newcomers to the French fiction market have made it possible to multiply the amount of content produced and broadcast in France. their photo of “creative oasis” did not last long – the disappearance of Funny must seal the report.

Source: Montage Numerama

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