The Get Down Canceled by Netflix

Netflix has decided not to renew Baz Luhrmann‘s stylish ’70s hip-hop drama The Get Down, effectively canceling the show after its first season.

Luhrmann’s signature visual flair was a huge component of the Netflix series, with factored into The Get Down‘s 12-episode first season becoming one of Netflix’s most expensive shows, costing about $120 million. It also may have factored into the show’s cancellation, as Luhrmann indicated in a Facebook post that him not being able to commit full-time to season 2 lost The Get Down its renewal.

The hip-hop drama, set in the South Bronx in New York City in the 1970s, followed the antics of a group of misfit teenagers who take shelter in dancing, music, and spray cans — whose experiments with DJ-ing leads to the birth of hip-hop. The slick, energetic show was infused with Luhrmann’s creative stamp as well as the music of rap legends Grandmaster Flash, Kurtis Blow, and Nas.

If you’re confused over the six new episodes of The Get Down that premiered on Netflix seven months after the first six episodes aired, it’s not because the show already had its second season, it’s because Luhrmann and co-creator Stephen Adly Guirgis decided to split the first season into two parts — the first of which dropped in August 2016, the second of which were released in April this year.

But a month after the first season finished airing, Netflix announced that it would be cancelling the show, according to Deadline. This makes The Get Down the first Netflix series to not get a second season — the closest contender would be Marco Polo, which ended after two seasons (another show with a hefty price tag at an alleged $90 million for 10 episodes.)

However, it wasn’t for lack of critical acclaim or buzz that got The Get Down the axe. While the show got mixed reviews, it still made quite an impact, enough that Luhrmann earlier this year was already tossing around ideas for a second season. It was likely that Netflix cancelled it mostly because Luhrmann couldn’t commit to working on another full season, which he detailed in a Facebook post explaining the cancellation and thanking the cast and crew behind it.

“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.”

Luhrmann explained that while his first venture into television has been fulfilling and exciting, “the simple truth is, I make movies.” He hinted that in the months following the wrap-up of the first season of The Get Down, he has been preparing for his next film.

He also said that there’s potential for a concert or stage musical of The Get Down, should there be demand for it.

Here’s the full text of his post below:

Dear fans of The Get Down,

I wanted to speak to you with an open heart and just acknowledge how humbled and moved that not only I, but all who have given so much to this production, have been by your passion and commitment to see the next chapter of The Get Down go back into production in the immediate future. I want to explain to you why that is unlikely to happen…

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.

All sorts of things have been thrown around for the future… even a stage show (can you imagine that? I can, concert version anyone? Next summer? Just saying.) 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. Since The Get Down stopped, I have actually been spending the last few months preparing my new cinematic work…

The cast of this show is unique and exceptional. Apart from our stellar veteran actors, I can’t tell you how privileged we all felt to have found such young, new talents, many of whom are now starring in motion pictures, creating music, and taking tremendous strides in their careers. Our cast, writers, musical collaborators, choreographers, camera team, directing and post-production teams all felt the profound privilege to have been embraced by the borough of The Bronx and the Hip-Hop community at large. But most especially by the forefathers of Hip-Hop: Grandmaster Flash, Kool Herc, Afrika Bambaataa, Grandmaster Caz, Kurtis Blow, Raheim and all the b-boys, b-girls, graffiti-writers, MC’s and DJ’s that made this story possible. As well as the keepers of the flame and guiding lights, such as Nas. 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.

As for the real future of the show, the spirit of The Get Down, and the story it has begun to tell… it has its own life. One that lives on today and will continue to be told somewhere, somehow, because of you, the fans and the supporters.

Humbled and honored, and to quote Mylene’s beautiful ballad, “I’ll see you on the other-side…”

Best,

Baz

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