Netflix cancels MARCO POLO after reported $200 million in losses

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marco polo

So it appears not everything Netflix touches turns to gold. The studio has had a great run of hit seires that seems to be coming to an end with news that Marco Polo is being cancelled after just 2 seasons, becoming the first Netflix to be cancelled after only 2 seasons, following poor reviews and a reported $200 million loss for the studio. And that is a lot of money to lose on a TV series that was apparently very expensive to make. I can certainly think of better ways of investing that kind of money (my bank account for one).

The Hollywood Reporter broke the news revealing a series of press statements from Netflix and Weinstein Co, who produced the historical drama series.

Netflix VP of original content Cindy Holland:

We want to thank and are grateful to our partners on Marco Polo from the actors, whose performances were enthralling and top-notch; to the committed producers, including John Fusco, Dan Minahan, Patrick Macmanus, and their crew, who poured their hearts into the series; and of course Harvey [Weinstein], David [Glasser] and our friends at TWC, who were great collaborators from start to finish.

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Weinstein Co. co-chairman Harvey Weinstein:

Netflix has been incredible to give us the room to make a series with a cast true to every principle of diversity. It’s a bold network that allows you to do that and support us in the way that Netflix did. As many people know, Asian history and the world of martial arts have fascinated me for all of my career — I’ve made many movies around these topics and this genre, and now this TV show I’m so proud of. John has been a great partner and we’re both fascinated to continue exploring this exciting period in history on future projects together.

So, it would seem that despite some exceptional talent working on the series and big budget production, Marco Polo just couldn’t muster an interest from the audience. And while the trailers for this second season certainly did seem interesting, I hadn’t even heard of the first season and never got around to watching this show, largely because the time period and setting wasn’t of interest to me. And it would seem that with a Rotten Tomatoes score of 24%, I didn’t miss out on much.

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John Fusco (Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron) and Dan Minahan (Homefront, Game of Thrones) were the showrunners for the series and featured the acting talents of Lorenzo Richelmy, Michelle Yeoh Benedict Wong, , Joan Chen, Zhu Zhu, Tom Wu, Olivia Cheng, Claudia Kim, Rick Yune, Remy Hii, Mahesh Jadu and Uli Latukefu.

In the end it was perhaps too big a show to actually carry the story and if the producers had maybe looked to reign in soon of the many minor characters and make it more focused, it might have turned into a more successful venture for the parties involved.

Were you one of the few that enjoyed the show? What do you make of the news of the series cancellation?

Last Updated: December 15, 2016

Craig Risi

A man of many talents, but no sense how to use them. I could be discovering the cure for aids or finding ways to achieve world peace, but I'd rather be watching movies and writing here instead.

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