Netflix swings the axe on Bloodline

Netflix TV series 'Bloodline' will call it quits after season 3. Photo / Netflix
Netflix TV series 'Bloodline' will call it quits after season 3. Photo / Netflix

Netflix has made a move it rarely does - it has cancelled one of its original programs.

Drama series Bloodline will face the axe after its upcoming third season, revealed The Hollywood Reporter.

Starring Kyle Chandler and Australian actor Ben Mendelsohn, the tense family crime drama has had two critically-lauded seasons but has failed to capture the same level of cultural buzz other Netflix shows, such as House of Cards and Orange Is the New Black, have enjoyed.

Ben Mendelsohn (L) and Kyle Chandler (R) speak onstage about Bloodline during the Netflix TCA Press Tour. Photo / Getty
Ben Mendelsohn (L) and Kyle Chandler (R) speak onstage about Bloodline during the Netflix TCA Press Tour. Photo / Getty

Netflix has always declined to disclose viewer numbers for any of its programs so it's hard to tell if "ratings" was a factor in the decision.

What is known is Bloodline is filmed in the US state of Florida which has, until now, gifted generous tax breaks to filmmakers.

Those incentives have now dried up, making the show much more expensive to produce.

Bloodline co-creator Todd A. Kessler acknowledged in June that the end of Florida's tax breaks would make things more "difficult".

Co-Creator, Executive Producer and Writer for Bloodline Todd A. Kessler speaks onstage at Variety's Entertainment  Summit NYC. Photo / Getty
Co-Creator, Executive Producer and Writer for Bloodline Todd A. Kessler speaks onstage at Variety's Entertainment Summit NYC. Photo / Getty

Bloodline's third season will debut in May next year and should wrap up the story of the Rayburn family, a clan mired in murder, drug dealing and general criminal shenanigans, despite its best intentions and a community reputation for being upstanding folks.

The second season ended on a cliffhanger so at least the series will have an opportunity to give the story a satisfying conclusion.

Netflix vice president of original content Cindy Holland said in a statement: "Bloodline season three will be the show's final season. Todd A. Kessler, Daniel Zelman and Glenn Kessler are thoughtful and visionary storytellers, who lead a prestigious cast that includes Kyle Chandler and Ben Mendelsohn who have both garnered two Emmy nominations for their roles on the series.

"Together, with our collaborative partners at Sony Pictures Television, they created a seductive show that Netflix viewers worldwide love and continue to discover.

We are looking forward to the exciting climax KZK have in store for the series conclusion in May 2017."

Cast attends the Bloodline New York Series premiere at SVA Theater on March 3, 2015 in New York City. Photo / Getty
Cast attends the Bloodline New York Series premiere at SVA Theater on March 3, 2015 in New York City. Photo / Getty

There remains an outside chance any instalments of Bloodline beyond season three may find a new home. While Netflix has pulled out of the venture, Bloodline's studio, Sony, could decide to shop the series around to another network or another streaming platform.

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If a TV network picks up Bloodline, it will be the first time a cancelled original streaming series will make the leap to broadcast TV.

There are many examples of the reverse with cancelled series such as Community and The Mindy Project finding a new home on streaming platforms.

Despite its bulging slate of original programs, Netflix has previously only cancelled Lilyhammer, Hemlock Grove and Derek.

Bloodline will compete in two categories (lead actor for Chandler and supporting actor for Mendelsohn) at the Emmy Awards next week.

The Kessler brothers and Zelman were also creators of legal crime drama Damages, which lasted five seasons and starred Glenn Close and Australian actor Rose Byrne.

- news.com.au

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