Netflix Musical Drama Series 'Soundtrack' Canceled (Exclusive)

Soundtrack - Publicity - H 2019
Courtesy of Netflix

The song is over for Netflix's Soundtrack.

The streaming giant has canceled its Josh Safran musical drama after one season. The news arrives barely a month after the Callie Hernandez and Jenna Dewan-led show's Dec. 18 premiere.

Originally picked up and produced as a pilot at Fox back in January 2018, Soundtrack (formerly Mixtape) was described as a romantic musical drama that looks at the love stories connecting a group of people in L.A. through the music that lives inside their hearts and minds.  

At Fox, the series was considered to be among the broadcast network's pilot season upfronts, with 20th TV head of casting Sharon Klein going so far as to declare Hernandez a "star" and one of the studio's big gets. While the drama cooled in the days leading up to Fox's official series orders, the show remained in contention for a midseason pickup. However, given "New Fox's" direction at the time, producers 20th TV opted to shop the series, which no longer fit the multicamera comedy and procedural mandate at the network.

Netflix swooped in two months later with a straight-to-series order for the series, which was a co-production between Disney's 20th TV/Fox 21 and Annapurna Pictures. Mixtape launched ahead of the holidays to poor reviews from critics (it has a 38 percent score on aggregate site and a stronger response from viewers (an impressive 95 percent).

Safran, for his part, was aware that his show — which featured his cast lip-syncing to covers of pop songs — was a creative swing. The showrunner, whose credits included the second season of NBC's Broadway musical Smash and The CW's Gossip Girl, had multiple seasons in mind for the show but offered a closed-ended story in its first batch because of the show's creative leap.

"There's definitely more. When you get to the end [you'll see]. I did close it though because it is a big swing and it's weird and I didn't want to leave an audience in the lurch," he told The Hollywood Reporter in December. (Safran, for his part, next is writing HBO Max's Gossip Girl revival.)

Soundtrack is the latest one-and-done show at Netflix, joining Daybreak, No Good Nick, Tuca & Bertie and Chambers, among others, in the canceled heap. The streamer, which famously doesn't release traditional ratings data, evaluates a show's completion rate with viewers, the cost to make it and whether doing additional seasons will bring in new subscribers or if those funds are better spent attracting new customers with new originals.