The Last Czars is now on Netflix around the world but the chances are you’ve probably not stumbled across the show or even seen any promotion for it. Let’s dissect what could be the reason this show was essentially sent out to die.
The show was first announced to be in production for Netflix back in October 2017 but all went quiet as the show went into development. It wasn’t until the middle of June 2019 until Netflix quietly added a release date to the shows official Netflix page. We did a post and was one of the first to even cover the show in the year and a half since it was announced.
Netflix not promoting its shows well is not a new criticism. Many have blamed the service for not promoting shows like Sense8, One Day at a Time and Santa Clarita Diet as one of the key reasons for their respective cancelations.
Weeks went by and promotion for the show from Netflix’s official channels never materialized. To this date, a trailer has yet to be uploaded to Netflix’s official account on YouTube.
The show wasn’t and isn’t available on the Netflix media site.
A Tweet promoting the show didn’t come until six days after the show’s release ironically on an account named “see what’s next.”
— See What's Next (@seewhatsnext) July 9, 2019
The promotion for the show in the UK, where the show is produced, seems to be limited to Ben Cartwright appearing on ITV’s Daytime TV show Lorraine on the day of release.
Promotion from news outlets since the release has carried the show somewhat and the show did manage to penetrate the top 10 most-watched in the UK on the week it releases but was out of the top 10 by the following week.
Why was the show under-promoted? Here’s a couple of reasons.
Was the show just rubbish?
The first thing we could consider why Netflix didn’t choose to promote the show overly is the fact it could simply be a bad show.
That’s not the case however as audiences have actually rated it one of the highest debut shows of 2019. It’s currently sitting at a 7.2 on IMDb and a 71% on Rotten Tomatoes.
Although there’s been plenty of criticism of accuracy, it’s something that was always going to be the case with a show that blended dramatization with documentary elements.
Russia also apparently wasn’t too impressed with the show either but the same thing happened with Chernobyl for HBO which only helped promote the show.
The Stranger Things Thing
Netflix has a big excuse for the lack of excuse and its name is Stranger Things. Releasing a day after The Last Czars, you could argue that the promotion for Stranger Things completely sucked any oxygen out of the room. In which case, why did Netflix not opt (like it did on the Friday straight after ST3) to keep the show back or forward to keep it clear of Stranger Things.
What’s the answer? We don’t know, we only have the questions but just yesterday Netflix blamed too few hits as a reason for subscriber numbers slowing down. When the company doesn’t even do the bare minimum to promote its shows, is it really surprising?
Utopia, the TV production company behind the show has another upcoming Netflix project.