, viewed as the weakest series, are still in the top 0.1 percent of shows in terms of online demand. That said, it’s surely no coincidence that what seem to be the three least in-demand shows in the US – The Defenders, Iron Fist, and Luke Cage – are the ones that have been cancelled. In the case of Iron Fist, it seems likely viewership just wasn’t sufficient to meet the costs of production, believed to be around $40 million. Luke Cage, however, appears to have been a little more ambiguous, reflecting the stronger brand. There have been reports that Netflix pushed for a 10-episode season 3, rather than the 13-episode season they’d originally signed up to; this was likely an attempting to cut costs and ensure the series was still value for money for the streaming giant.
The interesting question, though, is whether or not Marvel can shop a third season of Luke Cage elsewhere. According to Parrot Analytics, the show’s brand is still very strong – it’s still in the top 0.03 percent of TV shows in terms of demand in the United States. Speculation has focused on the possibility that the series could go to the Disney Plus streaming service, but that’s unlikely, given that appears to be marketed towards Disney’s family-friendly brand. Marvel could potentially sell the series to another network instead, who may be able to generate better viewing figures through stronger promotion and marketing. Luke Cage could even potentially wind up with Hulu; Disney will own a controlling share in that streaming service once the Fox acquisition is complete, and there have been reports the House of Mouse will ferry R-rated and mature content over to it.