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Mystery Science Theater 3000

Netflix Cancels Its Mystery Science Theater 3000 Reboot

Gettyimages | Gabe Ginsberg
By Joe Allen

After two seasons, Netflix has decided not to move forward with additional episodes of its "Mystery Science Theater 3000" reboot. Jonah Ray, the host of the show, broke the news to the show's fans on Twitter.

Even in announcing the show's cancellation, Ray still made time to reference a swatch of other shows that had been canceled by Netflix. He knew that, even though he wouldn't get to make more of his show, he was in good company among the shows the service had decided not to continue making.

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After his initial tweet announcing the cancellation, Ray continued by thanking the fans who had made the show possible, as well as the show's original creator, Joel Hodgson. He also gave hope to fans, reminding them that the show has been through plenty of incarnations before it went to Netflix. It originally aired on Comedy Central in 1988 before eventually moving to Syfy. In an era where plenty of canceled shows come back, it seems possible that "Mystery Science Theater 3000" could as well.

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The show was always something of a radical idea. The premise was that a host and a bunch of robots had been held captive and were forced to watch bad B-movies and provide commentary. It only worked because those commentaries were often incredibly funny.

During the show, the host and robots also performed a variety of skits and songs that usually tied into the movie they were watching that week. It was a cult show, but a fairly popular one.

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In fact, the original incarnation of the show was so popular that a massive Kickstarter effort that raised $5.7 million was a huge part of the reason it was able to come back. That campaign was launched by Hodgson and Shout! Factory.

It was following the success of that campaign that Netflix realized that it might have an opportunity to leverage the show's existing fans. After two seasons, though, it seems like that bet didn't really pay off for the streaming giant.

The cast and crew of Mystery Science Theater 3000
Gettyimages | Anna Webber

Earlier this decade, it seemed like Netflix was willing to write blank checks to a wide variety of creators in order to get content to populate its streaming service. In more recent years, though, they've begun to cancel less successful shows just like every other network. As Ray's tweet suggests, shows like "Tuca & Bertie" and "One Day at a Time", which both received good reviews, were both canceled by the network. Netflix could only defy gravity for so long. Now, it seems like they're finally falling back to earth.

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