The first season of “Marco Polo” arrived with a considerable promotional push in December 2014. It was just the fifth original series Netflix had launched and was positioned as a big international play, given its story of the famed European explorer’s time in China.
Season 2 premiered in July 2016, according to the internet. Yeah, we had to look that one up too — which may explain why “Marco Polo” was canceled Monday. It’s the first of Netflix’s originals not to last at least three seasons and, arguably, the first outright cancellation.
“Bloodline” will end with its upcoming third season, and “Hemlock Grove” did the same. Both announced their final runs ahead of time, so they can be considered a somewhat different category.
“We want to thank and are grateful to our partners on ‘Marco Polo’ from the actors, whose performances were enthralling and top-notch; to the committed producers, including John Fusco, Dan Minahan, Patrick Macmanus, and their crew, who poured their hearts into the series; and of course Harvey [Weinstein], David [Glasser] and our friends at [The Weinstein Company], who were great collaborators from start to finish,” Netflix vice president for original content Cindy Holland says in a statement.
The show starred Lorenzo Richelmy as the title character and Benedict Wong as Kublai Khan. Fusco (“Hidalgo,” “Young Guns”) created it.
The series carried a hefty price tag as well: Reports pegged the show’s first-season budget at $90 million, and sources tell The Hollywood Reporter the series caused a $200 million loss for Netflix.
“Marco Polo” joins these shows that have been canceled in 2016-17.