Netflix has mostly been successful in developing new TV shows, including Orange is the New Black, House of Cards and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. That means the streaming service rarely cancels its shows.
However, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings wants that to change.
“Our hit ratio is way too high right now,” Hastings said. “So, we’ve canceled very few shows … I’m always pushing the content team: We have to take more risk; you have to try more crazy things. Because we should have a higher cancel rate overall.”
This is similar to those old adages like “you miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take” and “I didn’t fail, I just discovered 1,000 ways not to make a lightbulb.” It’s cliche, but it’s also good business strategy. As long as Netflix can keep production costs low enough, it would probably make sense to have a few more failures with crazy ideas if those ideas also mean something crazy sticks.
That said, it’s not like Netflix only finds super safe shows. The plot of a “kidnapped woman in a bunker most of her life tries to navigate 21st century life” (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt) didn’t necessarily seem like a home run but Netflix took a risk and it worked. If this means Netflix is going to start making more great shows, it’s fine with us.