Not all original shows can land that coveted spot on Netflix, but there are some shows that probably should have.

Netflix is known for its very successful original series, like “Stranger Things,” “Daredevil,” “House of Cards” and “Orange is the New Black” – but that doesn’t mean the streaming service hasn’t missed out on a few major shows.

Ted Sarandos, Chief Content Officer of Netflix, recently revealed that Netflix has passed on some shows that wound up being huge hits for competitors.

“There have been many of them,” Sarandos told Variety in a recent interview. “A lot of times, it’s not the reflection of the show — it’s just timing.”

While he didn’t share all of the series they ended up passing on, he did share three of the big titles that came to mind.


Netflix passed on this dramedy series, about a family who finds out that their father is transgender and takes a look at their lives following this discovery--and it was a big mistake. “Transparent” wound up at Amazon Studios and became a huge hit for the streaming service shortly after its release in 2014.

Now about to premiere its fourth season in September, it’s already accomplished so much and won many awards within its first three seasons. At the 2015 Golden Globes, “Transparent” racked up two awards at the ceremony – “Best Television Series Comedy or Musical” and “Best Actor Television Series Musical or Comedy” – making history in the progress. This marked Amazon’s first-ever Golden Globe award, and the first time an online series won this best series category. It was a huge win for Amazon, and a reminder to Netflix of what it passed up.

The Handmaid’s Tale

handmaids tale “The Handmaid’s Tale” has been a big win for Hulu in 2017. Photo: Hulu

The latest majorly talked-about streaming series, “The Handmaid’s Tale,” was a huge stepping stone for Hulu, which still needed its own benchmark show. But apparently it wasn’t always this high-quality of content. This insight comes from Sarandos, who did give a little look into why Netflix decided to skip this series, which ended up being a big win for Hulu.

“We looked at ‘Handmaid’s Tale’ three years ago, four years ago” he said. “It wasn’t in the creative form that it is today.”

He didn’t give more information on what about the series changed between the original offer to Netflix and Hulu eventually nabbing it, but whatever it was, it’s helped the show become a huge success.

Mr. Robot

mr robot “Mr. Robot” has helped shape USA Network into what it is today. Photo: USA Network

In an interesting turn of events, “Mr. Robot” didn’t go to a competing streaming service but, instead, found its way to USA, where it helped to completely rebrand the network. The series follows Elliot (Rami Malek), as he handles being a cyber-security engineer and hacker who is recruited to join a hacktivism group. It’s a drama-thriller filled with unique storylines, incredible twists, and interesting characters. No wonder it’s a big hit for USA and is about to premiere its third season in October.

While it’s done extremely well on USA Network and has helped put the channel on the map for this type of content, Sarandos thinks it would’ve been a better Netflix series. Everything’s always clearer in hindsight.

“‘Mr. Robot’ is a show we missed on,” Sarandos said. “In a weird way, it might have been a better Netflix show.”