Despite a popular third series that was its most watched ever, Channel 4 made the surprising announcement on Friday afternoon they are cancelling The Circle after three seasons.
The broadcaster acknowledged the show has been a hit among young audiences and has grown successively over three years, consistently outperforming its time slot averages.
“The Circle has been a huge hit for young audiences and has grown successively over three seasons on Channel 4, consistently outperforming slot averages,” a spokesperson for Channel 4 said in a statement.
“We’re incredibly proud to have worked with Studio Lambert North and Motion Content Group to invest in such an innovative show and to have given it a springboard for its international format success.
In much the same way as when we originally commissioned The Circle, Channel 4 has a responsibility to continually look at how we reinvent and create space for new ideas, and so we have decided not to commission the show for a fourth season. We’d like to thank Studio Lambert, Motion and all those involved for The Circle’s huge success over the last three series.”
The news of the show getting axed will likely puzzle many fans. The recently completed third series ranked 12% higher in viewing over season 2. The series finished after averaging 1.38 million viewers, while the celebrity special attracted 1.56 million across a week.
“We are grateful to Channel 4 for all they did to help launch this innovative and entertaining format,” Stephen Lambert, chief executive of Studio Lambert, said in a statement.
Despite the news of C4 cancelling the show, Studio Lambert has confirmed to Broadcast they are in talks with Netflix to commission a fourth series but there is no confirmation of how advanced those talks are.
“The second season of The Circle US is doing very well on Netflix and we are in talks with Netflix about the future of the show in both America and in the UK,” a spokesperson said.