Why was ‘Cowboy Bebop’ Canceled at Netflix?

Kasey Moore What's on Netflix Avatar

cowboy bebop netflix viewing figures

Cowboy Bebop – Picture: Netflix

Cowboy Bebop has been canceled at Netflix after only three weeks of being on the service. Thanks to plenty of data, we can get a pretty good indication as to why the show has been canceled and it’s all down to viewership. Let’s dig into the numbers. 

Released on November 17th, Cowboy Bebop is the brand new live-action series adapted from the popular anime series. The series was controversial even before it was released but after failing to connect with audiences, The Hollywood Reporter confirmed on December 9th that the show was axed.

Let’s dig into why.

Netflix Top 10 Data for Cowboy Bebop

Netflix’s top 10s provide us with a daily look at what’s trending on Netflix in the US and also around the globe.

While the show got off to a slow start and made ground over the first weekend its position in the top 10s began slipping rather dramatically.

As of December 9th, the show had all but fallen out of the Netflix top 10s around the globe. As you can see from the chart below, the series faced a dramatic drop with the arrival of new shows pushing it out and audiences generally dropping away.

top 10 chart for cowboy bebop

Top 10 chart for Cowboy Bebop globally

In the United States, Cowboy Bebop remains in the TV top 10s as of December 9th, 2021 but at position 8. The series reached number 1 in the US between November 23rd and 24th and in the TV top 10s between November 21st and the 24th. It would appear that within days, the show would’ve dropped out of the US top 10s entirely.

In the UK TV top 10s, Cowboy Bebop was only present for the first 14 days after release before dropping out.

We typically find that shows have to be sticky around the 30-day mark to get renewed although this is purely an observation.


Netflix Hourly Viewing Figures for Cowboy Bebop

Thanks to Netflix’s brand new top 10 site, they release the top 10 hourly viewing figures for four categories every week. Since the release of Cowboy Bebop, the show has been featured each week.

As of December 8th, we’ve got three weeks of data so far where the show has picked up 73,840,000 hours but it’s worth noting that on its current trajectory, the show is unlikely to feature in the top 10s for a fourth week.

The show notably launched several days within the November 14th to 21st week on November 19th.

Week 2 was the first full week the show was on Netflix and in week 3 the show faced a 59 percent drop. Could this dramatic drop in viewership indicate why?

Other shows in the same genre such as Locke & Key and Arcane had over 100,000,000 hours viewed in the same time period.

Week Period Hours Viewed(M) Weeks in Top 10
November 28th, 2021 to December 5th, 2021 15,260,000 3
November 21st, 2021 to November 28th, 2021 36,950,000 2
November 14th, 2021 to November 21st, 2021 21,630,000 1

IMDb MovieMeter

IMDb is the biggest movie search engine on the planet where you can view information and read reviews on shows and movies. With its huge audience, we can tell a shows popularity based on the moviemeter which tracks traffic to individual shows and movie pages.

The show managed to peak on the movie meter chart between November 21st and November 28th (the week following the launch) but slumped down to position 10 the week following.

imdb movie meter cowboy bebop

IMDb Movie Meter for Cowboy Bebop

Some of the stars of Cowboy Bebop have also rocketed up the StarMeter’s including most notably Daniella Pineda who was number 2 as of December 7th and Elena Satine who rose to number 3.

SambaTV Viewing Statistic for Cowboy Bebop

TV data analytics and software company SambaTV announced a viewing stat for Cowboy Bebop for its first week. Unfortunately, SambaTV data is relatively hard to compare given they often announce stats for different time periods (ie first day, first weekend, first 5 days, first 6 days, and first week).

According to their data 981k US households watched the series premiere of Netflix’s live-action in its first week streaming (November 19th through to the 25th.)

In addition, they state that Portland, OR and Seattle were two states that seemed to watch the show more than other locations in the US.

samba tv cowboy bebop

Additional Statistics for Cowboy Bebop

Google Trends

Google Trends wasn’t particularly insightful but does give as an idea as to where the show is resonating the most. Here are the top regions as of December 7th, 2021:

  • United States – 100
  • New Zealand – 85
  • Canada – 75
  • Australia – 64
  • Puerto Rico – 61
  • Chile – 51
  • Singapore – 44
  • Philippines – 42
  • United Kingdom – 42
  • Ireland – 40

Are you disappointed Netflix hasn’t renewed Cowboy Bebop hasn’t been renewed for a second season? Let us know in the comments down below.

Written by

Founder of What's on Netflix, Kasey has been tracking the comings and goings of the Netflix library for over a decade. Covering everything from new movies, series and games from around the world, Kasey is in charge of covering breaking news, covering all the new additions now available on Netflix and what's coming next.