EXCLUSIVE: I’ve learned that Netflix has opted not to proceed with a second season of Baz Luhrmann’s ambitious musical drama The Get Down. The decision comes after the second six-episode part of Season 1 was released last month. It is a rare Netflix original series not to get a second season.
The hip-hop-themed drama, set in the South Bronx section of New York City in the late 1970s, was among Netflix’s most expensive shows, with the 12-episode first season costing about $120 million.
The Get Down, which marked Luhrmann’s first TV series, went through a lengthy and difficult pre-production and production process, with showrunner and writer changes. The production delays led to the decision to air the first season in two batches, with the first one debuting last August.
While the first season carried Luhrmann’s creative stamp, with him serving as hands-on showrunner, he had said that his involvement in a potential second season of the Sony TV-produced series would be more limited.
In an interview with Vulture earlier this spring, Luhrmann indicated that a second season was in the works. “To be honest, we have already developed the opening of the next season,” he said. “Sony and Netflix have been very driven about having a second season. There has been no question about that. They really want it.”
In a Facebook post following the cancellation today, Luhrmann indicated that him not being able to commit to Season 2 full-time was a key reason for the decision. “This exclusivity has understandably become a sticking point for Netflix and Sony, who have been tremendous partners and supporters of the show. It kills me that I can’t split myself into two and make myself available to both productions… But the simple truth is, I make movies.”
The Get Down followed a rag-tag crew of teenagers who are nothings and nobodies with no one to shelter them – except each other, armed only with verbal games, improvised dance steps, some magic markers and spray cans. “Here is the biggest year of recording history through music that is disco, but in this borough where there is so little and the world had forgotten, these young people are so inventive with whatever that had,” Luhrmann said at TCA last summer. “It’s not my story — I feel like I just curated it.”