The Get Down, Baz Luhrmann’s musical drama set in the South Bronx in the late 1970’s, will not return after its first season. Deadline reports that Netflix has canceled the show, a rare move for the streaming service.
Netflix’s list of nixed shows is short, and the ones it has ended have usually enjoyed a few seasons. Bloodline is ending with its third season, much like Hemlock Grove and Lilyhammer did when they were canceled. Marco Polo got just two seasons. The Get Down’s cancelation appears to be connected to Luhrmann’s inability to fully commit to the project for another season.
On Facebook, he posted a lengthy note to fans on why the show was “unlikely” to continue. “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,” Luhrmann said. “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 said that while other productions like a stage show have been “thrown around for the future,” the director is focused on preparing new cinematic work. “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.”
In an interview with Vulture in April, Luhrmann said season 2 was already in the works. “Sony and Netflix have been very driven about having a second season,” he said. “There has been no question about that. They really want it.” He also voiced his hesitation about being the showrunner right from The Get Down’s start, as well as his disinterest in acting in that role in a second season. “I cannot really be at the center of it. At a certain point, you go, you know, I have a family and I can’t be central to it, and I don’t think I should be.”
The Get Down was a costly show for Netflix, wrapping at $120 million. Last year, Variety reported on the many behind-the-scenes woes the show was facing, including cycling through showrunners and writers, tossed scripts, going over budget, and production stalls.