Some of the best TV shows on Netflix started as network series, but were given second chances, new episodes, or at the very least a significant ratings boost thanks to their success and popularity on the streaming platform. The top streaming company nearly died a horrible death a while back but now it’s the king of eyeballs across the country. Why? Netflix knows what viewers like. They know that what a network might see as garbage, they see as a treasure. They’ve become experts at predicting just what viewers will tune in to see and they also have the hindsight is 20/20 advantage of handling a show differently.
As Netflix launches more and more original content in the form of Netflix original series or new Netflix only episodes of beloved (but misunderstood) network TV shows, it always keeps an eye peeled for a TV show that’s on the chopping block or that will sustain viewership after it aired on other networks.
Which shows thought it was the oncoming train of cancellation, but ended up seeing Netflix in that tunnel of light? And which TV shows saved by Netflix are the best? Upvote the Netflix TV series below that you think are the best and are most thankful to the streaming service for saving, boosting, and giving a second chance.
10 people just voted on Breaking Bad
AMC didn’t cancel Breaking Bad in the States, but the show was cancelled in the UK after three seasons. The show’s creator Vince Gilligan thanked Netflix for saving the show when it started its streaming run, where it continues to draw new viewers every day.
As the show was wrapping up on AMC, Netflix’s Ted Sarandos said, “The most-watched episode of Breaking Bad on Netflix last night was the pilot,” he said. “With all the excitement of what’s happening right now, people started watching the show from the beginning.” Breaking Bad still ranks as one of the most watched titles. And the show is in huge demand on Netflix’s international streaming portals.
Source: The Wrap
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8 people just voted on The Walking Dead
Many season three and four The Walking Dead fans came to the AMC show by suffering through the first two seasons on Netflix. If you made it through the binge watch, you were rewarded with an amazing show that’s only gotten better, along with Rick’s improved Southern accent.
Of course, you have to lock yourself in a cave or remove Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, your entire Internet browser, and delete your contacts who watch the show from all of your devices to prevent spoilers. You also might want to avoid that chatty barista.
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In 2013, Netflix was on fire! As it gave us House of Cards and Orange Is the New Black, Netflix became everyone's true bestie when it picked up the embattled and misunderstood Arrested Development for a 15 episode, real fourth season. Fox cancelled the series after three seasons in 2006, causing Never Nudes everywhere to paint themselves blue and blow up banana stands. But when Netflix brought back the beloved weirdos of the Bluth family, fans knew that they would have a place to come to revisit the series whenever they needed a dose of the Bluths.
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When production company MRC went looking for a place for their American version of House of Cards (it's based on a British series of the same name), they were asking for something quite rare: they wanted David Fincher and the producers to have final cut. That’s a big ask for the traditional networks, but it turned out be a huge boost for Netflix. When the streaming company said yes, but insisted on making it their first original, MRC agreed.
That deal slightly altered the landscape for how TV shows are made and changed Netflix’s profile. MRC co-chair Modi Wiczyk said, “The show is probably the first true final cut show made in a long time. It’s the largest independent drama production made in the last decade. That combination of size and freedom let them take enormous risks in terms of structure.” It's paid off, too; House of Cards has won multiple Emmys.
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6 people just voted on Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
This is not a story of a network dropping the ball and Netflix sweeping in, in full diva gown with wings, to save a delightful TV series from the fire. Oh wait, that’s exactly the story this is. This little tale is all about Netflix snatching Tina Fey and Robert Carlock’s Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt from the claws of NBC in a game of he-who-hesitates-is-lost.
Tina Fey’s home network for SNL and 30 Rock did have the show on its slate with a straight-to-series 13-episode order but… it was a little undecided as to when Kimmy would air. NBC waited a full year and there was every indication that the show was fated to be a midseason replacement - never a good thing as those shows usually end up in the landfill. Enter Netflix. The streaming company not only immediately aired the show; it also bought a second season. And a full three months before that second season dropped, Netflix officially ordered a third.
NBC tried to act like they were OK with it in a drama-heavy statement about how it was the best outcome for everyone and yadda yadda... but fans of the series are just glad this quirky show saw the light of day (and that they got to watch it all in one weekend of pure fun).
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We were all utterly devastated when Gilmore Girls was inexplicably cancelled in 2007 during its 7th season. (So many unresolved questions! So much time spent in therapy!) But now, fans of Lorelai & Rory can rejoice: Netflix has agreed to produce a mini-series of four Gilmore Girl wrap-up episodes. The episodes will each be 90 minutes long, and are slated to wrap up all the loose ends that were left in the dust by the CW.
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AMC might be to thank for the likes of Mad Men, Breaking Bad, and Better Call Saul but it taketh away sometimes too. The network sh*t canned The Killing TWICE before Netflix came to the rescue. The show premiered to rave reviews in 2011 and then the red herring-dangling began, frustrating viewers. Were network notes given to the writers or did the show runner and company fall on their own sword? Maybe a little of both.
As the show struggled to get back on track, it got cancelled. When AMC heard that Netflix and DirecTV (the same company that saved Friday Night Lights) were sniffing around, the network put it back on the air for a third season. Netflix even partnered with AMC to cover some production costs in exchange for some earlier-than-usual streaming rights. Then AMC cancelled the show... again.
Netflix scooped up the series and The Killing got the closure it deserved with a fourth and final season on the streaming channel.
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Longmire is the battle cry many use when talking about TV shows saved by Netflix. The fan-loved, network-beleaguered show was fished out of the cancellation waters just in time. Netflix picked up 10 new episodes for a fourth season in 2015 after A&E shafted viewers with a season-three cliffhanger.
If you haven’t checked it out yet, Longmire is actually a good show. It’s got Starbuck from Battlestar Galactica (Katee Sackhoff) and Robert Taylor for goodness sake!
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