The Reason Alexa & Katie Was Canceled

Fans were excited when Netflix dropped the fourth installment of Alexa & Katie this month, but the drop was also heartbreaking as it will be the show's last. Why did Netflix decide to give the popular show the axe? Warning: If you haven't watched the final installment of Alexa & Katie — which is also the back half of its third season (per Newsweek) — there are spoilers ahead.

Netflix hasn't given a specific reason for Alexa & Katie's cancellation, although it's unlikely to be because of the ratings as Alexa & Katie is currently trending in Netflix's top 10. It's more likely that the show is being canceled because it has drawn to a natural conclusion. The show started with Alexa and Katie starting high school, and concludes with their graduation. Another popular Netflix show, 13 Reasons Why, recently ended with its main characters getting their high school diplomas, so the reason behind ending Alexa & Katie now may be similar.

As 13 Reasons Why showrunner Brian Yorkey told Entertainment Weekly, he doesn't think high school shows shouldn't go on too long. "I'm always a little bit suspicious of high school shows that go beyond four seasons because high school is four years long," he said. "So when somehow high school shows become seven and eight seasons long... I tend to get a little suspicious of something that began as a high school show. And it felt like bringing these characters to their graduation and to scattering to their next things felt like the logical ending point."

Netflix shows often wrap after three seasons

Alexa & Katie is drawing to a natural storytelling conclusion, but it may also have reached the end of its profitability for Netflix. Netflix shows often get the axe after three seasons, lasting only 30 episodes or so; Alexa & Katie has 39. As insiders told Deadline, 30 episodes or three seasons of a show is thought to be enough to satisfy viewers, while tacking on additional seasons doesn't increase the show's value for the platform. Shows also become increasingly expensive after three seasons, as "Netflix's deals include bump/bonuses after each season that are getting progressively bigger" with "payments... escalat[ing] after season 3."

Netflix's head of original content, Cindy Holland, explained at a conference that cancellation decisions often come down to profitability. "Obviously, critical acclaim is important too, but we're really about trying to stretch our investment dollars as far as we can and make good on our investors' money — it's theirs, not ours," she said.

Other Netflix shows to be cancelled after three seasons include One Day at a Time, Love, Bloodline, and Hemlock Grove.