Netflix hasn’t had very many misfires among its original series projects, but Marco Polo appears to be one of the first.
The streaming video service has reportedly canceled Marco Polo after just two seasons, making it the company’s first show to have its run abruptly ended before the third season.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the series lost more than $200 million over the course of its first two seasons. The financial losses the show incurred, coupled with underwhelming reviews and viewership for both seasons, reportedly pushed Netflix and co-producer The Weinstein Company to bring an end to the project.
Marco Polo premiered in December 2014 with a 10-episode first season, which was followed by another 10-episode season that premiered in July. Critics panned both seasons of the series, which cast Lorenzo Richelmy as the famed explorer and chronicled his adventures in Kublai Khan’s court in 13th-century China against the backdrop of the expanding Mongol Empire.
The series was created by Young Guns and Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron screenwriter John Fusco, who also served as showrunner along with Homeland and Game of Thrones writer Dan Minahan.
“Netflix has been incredible to give us the room to make a series with a cast true to every principle of diversity,” said Harvey Weinstein, Weinstein Company co-chairman, in a statement accompanying the announcement. “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.”
Marco Polo isn’t the first series to be canceled by Netflix. The original drama Bloodline will end its run after the show’s upcoming third season, while the supernatural series Hemlock Grove also ended after three seasons.
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