‘Lockwood And Co,’ With Perfect Review Scores, Is A Prime Netflix Cancellation Test

I remember seeing a screensaver preview on Netflix for Lockwood and Co. a few days ago as my app idled, and my immediate thought was “well that’s probably going to get cancelled.”

It may not be great that we have arrived at a point in Netflix history where that’s the first thing that occurs to me where I see yet another adaptation of yet another supernatural YA book starring teens and a female lead (ghost hunters, this time), but here we are. And with stellar critic and audience scores, Lockwood and Co. feels like a prime cancellation test for Netflix in the current era.

I have written about countless versions of shows like this Netflix has cancelled, which seems like it’s a genre that gets the axe more than most. Off the top of my head, YA cancellations include First Kill, Cursed, Half Bad, Daybreak, Sabrina, The Society, The Order, Fate: The Winx Saga, The Imperfects, Warrior Nun and The Midnight Club. And that’s just in the last year or two.

So, the case of Lockwood and Co. It doesn’t star any big names, but it’s from Joe Cornish, writer of Ant-Man, writer and director of Attack the Block.

The good news: Lockwood and Co. has a perfect 100% score on Rotten Tomatoes right now from the limited critical reviews in. But most impressively it’s hanging on to a 98% audience score, among the highest we’ve seen on Netflix. Though identical scores, of course, did not save something like Warrior Nun season 2.

The medium news: Lockwood and Co. did not the storm the beaches with a #1 debut on Netflix’s top 10 list. It arrived at #3 behind the higher profile Ginny and Georgia and That ‘90s Show. But it’s already gotten past That ‘90s Show to reach #2. It may indeed pass Ginny and Georgia, considering that show has bene out for almost a month now, and should start seeing a natural decline.

The bad news: Everything I already mentioned. This is exactly the type of show that Netflix usually cancels, despite high review scores (Babysitters Club, Teenage Bounty Hunters, Warrior Nun), despite high Top 10 placement (Archive 81, The Midnight Club, First Kill). And since the show is about something supernatural, ghost hunting, there’s a at least some mount of CG work going on which will make it more expensive than other non-ghostly offerings.

I want to believe that Netflix would see a show like this seeming to perform well and just renew it, but in addition to overall viewing hours, Netflix will be looking at completion rates, which generally need to be above 50% for people completing an entire season to land a renewal. So if you like it, make sure you finish it. It’s only eight, 40-45 minute episodes. That said, some genre shows like this do squeeze out full runs (Locke and Key) and some are surprise, breakout megahits (Wednesday), so it could, in theory, be one of those.

After all that, we’ll just have to wait. Even shows that are clearly performing well and will obviously get renewed like Wednesday and Ginny and Georgia still take about 40 days for Netflix to actually announce anything. So we will probably not know anything about its ultimate fate for a while.

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Source: https://www.forbes.com/sites/paultassi/2023/01/29/lockwood-and-co-with-perfect-review-scores-is-a-prime-netflix-cancellation-test/