Netflix will not produce a second season of The Get Down, according to Deadline, making it the first Netflix original drama to receive only one season.
The news comes as no surprise, considering the setbacks and mires that plagued the show in pre-production and ultimately cost the studio $120 million in production costs, making it one of the most expensive TV productions of all time. The pre-production and production stages were delayed so many times because of showrunner and writer changes that Netflix was forced to release one half in August and then finish up the second half, later airing in April.
Until recently, it looked as if we’d be getting a second season. “To be honest, we have already developed the opening of a second season,” Luhrmann told Vulture last March. “Sony and Netflix have been very driven about having a second season. There has been no question about that. They really want it.” But in a late-night Facebook post on May 24, Luhrmann pointed to the exclusivity required by Netflix projects as to why there would no longer be a second season. “It kills me that I can’t split myself into two and make myself available to both productions. But the simple truth is, I make movies.”
Luhrmann originally wanted to be more of an uncle to the project, the filmmaker told Variety in 2016, but Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos refused to green-light the show’s production without a stronger commitment from Luhrmann. Sony TV also pushed for more involvement by Luhrmann, yet as the production cost ballooned $30 million over budget and creative direction continued to shift, the relationship between Luhrmann, Sony TV and Netflix grew strained.
Viewership also failed to measure up to the huge price tag. In a Variety report, third-party viewing metrics showed the debut series to be drawing only one-fifth of the audience Orange is the New Black pulls.
The Get Down is a rich and beautiful series, which Luhrmann pays tribute to in his Facebook post, acknowledging the young talent and the hip-hop community at large who made the film possible. The series pulled on opera and musical influences to follow a rag-tag group of kids growing up in ‘70s Bronx, witnessing the birth of hip-hop.
Luhrmann ends his post, “We experienced things together that I will never forget. All of us in The Get Down family have been touched by this precious mission of telling the pre-history of a form of culture that would go on to change not only the city, but the world.”
Find Lurhmann’s full post here, and reminisce and read our review of The Get Down finale here.