‘Obliterated’ Was Netflix’s Most Watched Canceled Series, ‘Sex Education’ Led Farewells In Second Half Of 2023

Freshman drama Obliterated held the dubious distinction of being the most watched Netflix series in the second half of 2023 to be canceled, according to the streamer’s viewership data made public today. Released Nov. 30, the action comedy was #20 in the rankings for the six-month period, generating 27M views in its first month of release.

The high position should not come as a surprise as Obliterated spent a respectable six weeks in the Netflix Top 10 for English-language series, peaking at #1 in Week 2.

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Since the streamer largely bases its renewal decisions on analyzing viewing vs. cost, the size of the latter must have outweighed the magnitude of the former, which would also explain why a show like Sweet Magnolias (#37 on the list with 20.9M views over 5+ months), was comfortably renewed.

Another expensive series, fantasy drama Shadow and Bone, was the most watched title of 2023’s first six months to get the axe, logging 27.9M views over its first two months of release.

Overall, Sex Education was the most watched Netflix series to air its final installment in the second half of 2023. Unlike Obliterated and Shadow and Bone, whose cancellations came months after the premiere of their most recent seasons, Netflix announced ahead of time that Sex Education‘s fourth season, debuting Sept. 21, would be its last.

Based on the Season 4 performance of the teen sex comedy, which generated 46.3M views through end of 2023 to rank as #6, Netflix likely would’ve liked another installment.

The hyped sixth and final season of The Crown, which covered the death of Princess Diana and Prince William’s romance with Kate Middleton, was outside of the Top 20, landing at #25 with 25.2 million views. The season was released in two batches on Nov. 16 and Dec. 14, giving the final episodes two weeks of release within the measurement window but those are highly trafficked holiday weeks.

The softer than expected performance was probably foreshadowed by the fact that The Crown‘s sixth season did not land atop Netflix’s weekly Top 10 for English-language series, something Obliterated did once and Sex Education Season 4 twice.

The data dump also explains why Glamorous got canceled after one season. The series, which debuted at the end of the previous ratings period (June 22, 2023), was rejected by audiences, ranking #243 July-December with 6.9M views.

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