Wellmania -- an Australian comedy that's part of the 2023 TV schedule -- received some unfortunate news. It recently became yet another show to get axed by Netflix after only one season. As some probably know by now, the streaming service has a habit of sneakily canceling one-season shows without anyone realizing. With that said though, the international program's star and executive producer, Celeste Barber, alerted fans to the news. And while reacting, she commented on how the industry is “kind of bullshit.”
In the past few years alone, audiences have seen a number of streaming shows get canned following a single season. Such developments are typically disappointing for those who were already heavily invested in the program. With that in mind, it's easy to imagine that it's even harder for a creative team to fathom. Celeste Barber certainly didn't hold back when she announced her show's demise through a video shared to her Instagram. When addressing the fans, she explained what led to the cancellation:
I just wanted to check in and give you a little update to let you know that Wellmania will not be renewed for another season. I understand that in the grand scheme of things, with what is going on in the world at the moment, who fucking cares? But a lot of you do care. A lot of you are still asking me about it. We found out yesterday that it’s not going to be renewed. Netflix says it’s something about numbers. Sure. I thought it smashed it, but I don’t understand how it works. Thank you for the love. Thank you for the love and support around the show.
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At the end of the day, Netflix cancels seemingly popular shows because there needs to be enough viewership to justify the costs of keeping it going. Originals like The Crown and Stranger Things have solidified themselves as hits and, as a result, the creators are going to finish their respective runs on their own terms. It should also be noted that the company's co-CEO, Ted Sarandos, claims the company has never canceled a successful series. It's hard to gauge Wellmania's success, since we don't have access to the exact viewership numbers. However, one would assume that it simply didn't meet the entertainment conglomerate's expectations.
This model of evaluating content is part of the changing entertainment landscape. And while many may understand that, they won't necessarily be happy about it. Celeste Barber went on to further express her disappointment over the decision and make that brutally honest piece of commentary about the business:
The way it was received was so overwhelming. I’m bummed that I can no longer explore that excellent character of Liv Healy, and I know a lot of you have said to me that you saw yourselves in that character and wanted to see more of her. But this industry is kind of bullshit. . . . So go and kiss your babies and watch Friends. Maybe not on Netflix, though. Maybe pull out an old DVD.
To one of her points, the comedy holds a critical score of 89% and an audience rating of 82% on Rotten Tomatoes, so it was apparently well received.The series centered on a NY Times food writer trying out healthy ways of living and the hijinks that come with that. Fans are sure to be disappointed that they're not going to see any further episodes, and one can understand those feelings. I suppose if there's any kind of consolation for Celeste Barber and co., it's that they had a solid number of fans behind them, rooting for them to succeed.
Anyone with an active Netflix subscription. can still watch Wellmania in its entirety, and check out this year's TV schedule for information on other small-screen offerings.