Even Near-Perfect Rotten Tomatoes Score Didn't Help These 2 Shows Canceled by Max & Apple TV

Even Near-Perfect Rotten Tomatoes Score Didn't Help These 2 Shows Canceled by Max & Apple TV
Image credit: Max, Apple TV+

Brace yourself if you're a fan of any of these projects, dear friends.


  • In the aftermath of the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes, streaming services caralogs have only gotten leaner, with many great projects canceled in the process.
  • Last week, for example, Max and Apple TV+ canceled two musical series.
  • The decision was based on low ratings, even though both shows have near-perfect Rotten Tomatoes scores.

When it comes to the business models of streaming services, it does not matter how original a show's concept is, how well-written the script is, how full of clever references and social commentary it is, or how loyal the fandom is to the show.

While it may seem that varied reviews and heated discussions are good indicators of a project's cultural relevance, it's really the statistics that determine whether further financial investment is warranted.

With the recent WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes, the situation has only gotten worse. Although both unions have reached an agreement with the AMPTP, the effects of the disrupted television pipeline are now being felt more acutely as more shows are canceled to save money. For example, one musical series from Max and one from Apple TV+ were the subject of disappointing cancellation decisions, despite incredibly high critical scores on Rotten Tomatoes. Let's find out what these shows are, and what critics and viewers are saying about them.

Disappointing News About Max and Apple TV+

Lately, Max subscribers have been complaining more and more about the streaming service's questionable decisions. Not long ago, for example, the platform's flagship (pun intended) series, Our Flag Means Death, a pirate romcom starring Taika Waititi and Rhys Darby, was canceled. Thanks to its queer entourage and heartfelt script, OFMD instantly gained a loyal following that did more to promote the show's popularity than Max itself. Yes, the second season was weaker, but fans eagerly awaited the continuation of the story.

Unfortunately, another high-profile cancellation followed. Last week, it was announced that Max had canceled Rap Sh!t, a comedy series about black women's experiences in hip-hop culture from the creator of the acclaimed dramedy Insecure, Issa Rae. The series stars Aida Osman and KaMillion as two economically struggling Miami friends who decide to form a rap collective. The second season recently ended on December 21, 2023.

Even Near-Perfect Rotten Tomatoes Score Didn't Help These 2 Shows Canceled by Max & Apple TV - image 1

In an unfortunate coincidence, Apple TV+ also canceled Schmigadoon! created by Cinco Paul and Ken Daurio and starring Keegan-Michael Key and Cecily Strong. The plot, about a New York couple facing the trials of married life but ending up in the titular magical town, was based on references to famous musicals from the 1940s-1950s in Season 1 and the 1960s-1970s in Season 2, which ended last May.

What Are Critics and Viewers Saying?

The cancellation of Rap Sh!t and Apple TV+ is no small loss to pop culture, as both shows have top critical scores on Rotten Tomatoes. Yes, some viewers have taken a cooler view of both shows, but the mixed opinions only serve to draw attention to the projects.

The average score for Rap Sh!t was a perfect 100%, with many noting how successful this experimental comedy was, perfectly representing the struggles of black women and full of witty humor and chemistry between the two protagonists. Viewers, on the other hand, were less impressed with the show: the first season was rated 65%, but most of the low ratings are one-star review bombs that were motivated only by disinterest in the subject matter. The audience reviews for the second season were much warmer, with a total of 89%.

Even Near-Perfect Rotten Tomatoes Score Didn't Help These 2 Shows Canceled by Max & Apple TV - image 2

As for Schmigadoon!, critics and viewers were about the same: the second season had a 97% rating from critics and a 90% rating from viewers. Few people could fail to appreciate the satirical love letter to 20th century Broadway.

We all know how fierce fandoms can be, ready to defend their shows. Who knows, maybe a miracle will happen and these two highly regarded series will still have a future.