The Biggest Netflix Flops of All Time

We think of Netflix as the place that brought us The Crown or Stranger Things or House of Cards or The Witcher or Orange is the New Black. You forget the flops soon after they disappear. Often they’re flops because they’re forgettable TV. Netflix doesn’t run their shows based on ratings. They have a complex system that considers whether a viewer watches a whole series and how quickly a series is viewed. The biggest thing they want to see is a series watched in full within four weeks of its arrival on the streaming service. Sometimes a show that’s popular in the long run is considered for the chop, but they don’t tend to cut those shows unless production costs ramp up or interest wanes. We’re not looking at the shows that made it beyond the first series. Let’s concentrate on the stuff that shouldn’t have seen the light of day.

The Ridiculous 6

Netflix signed a deal with Adam Sandler what was worth $275 million and cover production of four movies. At the time, they claimed Netflix viewers spent 2 billion hours watching the man’s existing line of childish movies. Those are the sort of stats that make execs take notice. They wouldn’t have if they’d known he would come up with The Ridiculous 6. This lazy, dull, lifeless movie is full of offensive humour. It’s a parody of The Magnificent Seven that’s decades too late. The critics have savaged it and for good reason. It’s rubbish, but it was viewed by more people in its first 30 days on the streaming service than any other movie, so that makes it a “hit” in Netflix’s eyes. Unfortunately, that means we’ll see more from him.

True Memoirs of an International Assassin

This was another humorous movie that missed its target. This Kevin James movie from 2016 was hyped a lot before its release. It wasn’t as bad as Paul Blart: Mall Cop, and it didn’t miss the mark as much as Pixel, but, like those earlier Kevin James efforts, it’s not funny. Like the Ridiculous 6, it relies on offensive humour and aims below the belt too often. It hasn’t stopped Kevin James being employed by the streaming service. His latest idea, The Crew, a show about NASCAR, suggests Netflix haven’t given up on him yet.

Amy Schumer: The Leather Special

Okay, this is another Netflix comedy that bombed, but we’re not suggesting a pattern here. Amy Schumer’s brand of humour is nothing like Kevin James or Adam Sandler’s. This show from 2017 was Schumer on stage talking about life’s challenges. It was too crude for some audiences and full of outdated humour that didn’t land. It felt strangely tired and unoriginal to most. That’s not stopped her getting another gig with the streaming giant. Her follow up, Amy Schumer Growing was released in 2019.

Marco Polo

This show was supposed to be big. It was set up as a major production that would get critical attention and massive viewing numbers. It ran for two seasons plus a special, so it wasn’t an instant failure, but it cost $90 million per season to produce. That’s a Game of Thrones price-tag for a show with far less appeal. It got negative reviews from the second it was released. Its first season holds a rating of 34% on Rotten Tomatoes. It’s second was better received, but not well enough to stop this show flopping.


This one also made it to two seasons. Any post-apocalyptic show will be judged against The Walking Dead. Even though this one was about a mysterious disease killing off people over the age of 21 rather than a zombie apocalypse, it still trod over similar ground, but its ham-fisted, often melodramatic delivery of its subject matter made this a critical and commercial failure.

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