Is Stranger Things to blame for Netflix cancellations?

Stranger Things 4's budget is three times bigger than Game of Thrones

Millie Bobbie Brown, Finn Wolfhard and Noah Schnapp in Stranger Things 4
(Image credit: Netflix)

Netflix has been making a lot of TV show and movie cancellations as of late, and one of the reasons for this could be down to the outrageous budget that has been allocated for season four of Stranger Things.

As reported by the Wall Street Journal (opens in new tab), Stranger Things 4 is set to have been given a $30 million budget per episode, totalling a whopping $270 million for the full nine-episode season. Netflix's decision to throw so much money at the sci-fi horror drama has to be taken into account as to why the likes of Archive 81, Another Life, The Baby-Sitters Club and more recently, On the Verge have all been scrapped after one or two seasons. 

Interestingly, the final season of Game of Thrones was three times less than Stranger Things 4 at $90 million for the whole six-episode finale (via Business Insider (opens in new tab)). This comparison feels necessary as the HBO show was understandably using its budget for numerous high profile actors (Emilia Clarke, Peter Dinklage, Sophie Turner etcetera.), large sets like castles and fortresses as well as you know, dragons.

On the other hand, Stranger Things has been set in the small town of Hawkins with the Upside Down still being the same world just a bit darker and grimier. Sure the monsters will cost a bit and Millie Bobby Brown is one of the biggest names in the business right now, but still $30 million an episode seems more than excessive. 

The synopsis for Strangers Things 4 reads as such: "It’s been six months since the Battle of Starcourt, which brought terror and destruction to Hawkins. Struggling with the aftermath, our group of friends are separated for the first time – and navigating the complexities of high school hasn't made things any easier. In this most vulnerable time, a new and horrifying supernatural threat surfaces, presenting a gruesome mystery that, if solved, might finally put an end to the horrors of the Upside Down.

The other frustrating element is that not all shows can be Stranger Things in their first season. One apt comparison doing the rounds on the web is regarding The Office starring Steve Carrell. It took two seasons before the US version of the beloved British TV series really got going. 

So with Netflix so keen to pull the trigger on anything that doesn't agree with its internal algorithm (cost of making the show versus audience return), we might miss out on some truly brilliant shows just because it doesn't set the world on fire out the gates. As a result, it's starting to make a bit more sense why the platform has lost 200,000 subscribers over the last few months alone.

Netflix will premiere the first part of Strangers Things 4 on May 27th while the second half will then debut on July 1st, 2022. To find out which Netflix Originals have been scrapped, here's every Netflix show cancelled in 2022 – and the one likely to go next.

Matthew Forde
Staff Writer

Matthew is the Staff Writer for T3, covering news and keeping up with everything games, entertainment, and all manner of tech. You can find his work across numerous sites across the web, including TechRadar, IGN, Tom's Guide, Fandom, NME, and more. In his spare time, Matthew is an avid cinema-goer, keen runner and average golfer (at best). You can follow him @MattForde64