Baz Luhrmann's hiphop musical "The Get Down" was well-received by critics for its fresh take on the genre. It's also Netflix's most expensive series to date, having spent at least $120 million overall for six episodes, even with New York state taxes factored in the calculations, Variety reported. It also reported that the ballooning budget was caused partly by Luhrmann, well-known for his musicals "Moulin Rouge" and "Romeo + Juliet," whose iconoclastic directing and creative style caused the expenses to spiral out of control.
Now it seems that "The Get Down" critical acclaim may not be enough to save it from Season 2 production limbo, as it faces yet another hurdle: low viewership. Citing Symphony Advanced Media, Variety reported that the music drama only garnered 3.2 million viewers among the US 18-49 demographic, and rating 2.33 in the same demo during its first month.
In comparison, Variety reported, Netflix's "Orange is the New Black" Season 4 raked in 15.56 million viewers in the same demo and timeframe. "The Get Down," while positively received by critics (74 percent), also pales in comparison with fellow digital contemporaries like "Stranger Things" (95 percent) and "Orange is the New Black" (96 percent).
Data provider Parrot Analytics also looked into the tepid reception of Luhrmann's "The Get Down." During the week of Aug. 21-27, or two weeks since its premiere on Netflix, the show's viewership actually crashed by a whopping 40 percent, even as earlier releases like "Stranger Things" still enjoyed a rise of 0.5 percent in viewership. While "The Get Down" had the third-highest release on Netflix, its peak viewership was still half that of "Jessica Jones" and "Fuller House."
This bad news could seriously impede a Season 2 renewal of the Luhrmann-Stephen Guirgis show, which explored the emergence of hip hop in the late '70s in the South Bronx, New York City. It stars Justice Smith as Ezekiel Figueroa, Herizen Guardiola as Mylene Cruz, Jaden Smith as Marcus "Dizzee" Kipling, among others.
Netflix, notoriously known for refusing to release ratings, has yet to comment on "The Get Down's" ratings. No word out yet for whether the hip hop drama could be renewed for Season 2, but it's safe to say that the producers themselves are already brainstorming for Season 2. They're talking time jumps into the 1980s - the time of Michael Jackson and Prince, and the death of disco. But while we wait for Season 2, catch "The Get Down" Season 1 on Netflix.