The final ‘Jessica Jones’ season marks the end of Netflix’s Marvel TV shows — here are the likely reasons they were all canceled

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“Marvel’s The Defenders.”
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Netflix

  • The third and final season of “Jessica Jones” debuted on Netflix on Friday, and it marks the official end of Netflix’s Marvel TV shows.
  • Speculation has pointed to Disney’s coming streaming service, Disney Plus, as being the major factor in the shows’ cancellations.
  • But the reason may actually be that the shows’ audiences had been declining over time.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

The third and final season of “Marvel’s Jessica Jones” became available on Netflix on Friday, and it marks the official end of Netflix’s Marvel TV universe.

The streaming giant canceled “Luke Cage,” “Iron Fist,” and “Daredevil” late last year and then “The Punisher” and “Jessica Jones” in February. The only other series to reach a third season before getting the boot was “Daredevil,” which arrived in October to rave reviews. The series was canceled in November.

The Wrap reported on Thursday, based on an anonymous source, that the shows didn’t have a high enough viewership to justify the high costs of making them. Data previously provided to Business Insider backs that up.

Read more: Insiders were shocked when DC Universe’s ‘Swamp Thing’ was suddenly canceled despite a huge investment in the series and rave reviews

A social-media analysis from Crimson Hexagon in October, after “Luke Cage” and “Iron Fist” were canceled, showed that interest in those shows had dramatically decreased over time and suggested that the remaining shows were in trouble.

The analysis showed that when the first season of “Luke Cage” premiered in 2016, there were more than 300,000 Twitter and Instagram posts regarding it. When the second season was released last June, there were fewer than 50,000 posts. “Iron Fist” fell from 120,000 posts to 20,000 posts between its first and second seasons.

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“Marvel’s The Punisher.”
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Netflix

Viewership for “The Punisher” fell by 40% from its first to second seasons in their first weekends of release, according to estimates provided by the analytics company Jumpshot in January. The show was then canceled in February.

Speculation also pointed to Disney’s coming Netflix competitor, Disney Plus, as being a factor in the cancellations.

Disney, which owns Marvel, plans to launch the streaming service in November, and it ended a licensing deal with Netflix this year. All of its theatrical releases, beginning with “Captain Marvel,” will eventually move to Disney Plus, rather than heading to Netflix.

But the decision to cancel came from Netflix, according to Jeph Loeb, the head of Marvel TV. Loeb told The Wrap that “it was not a decision that Marvel made, it was a decision that Netflix made.”

With a declining audience, it didn’t make sense for Netflix to continue to invest in the Marvel shows, especially with Disney developing its own that would spin directly out of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.