Netflix has made it official and cancelled its darkly comedic series “Santa Clarita Diet” after three seasons.
Drew Barrymore, Timothy Olyphant, Liv Hewson and Skylar Gisondo lead the cast of the series about husband and wife realtors whose life becomes a bit different after she dies and becomes filled with undead hunger…but in a good way.
The series has had a loyal following and Olyphant, in particular, has been singled out for his acting work by many critics. However the streamer has still cut the show anyway saying in a statement:
“The world had never known a ‘zom-com’ until Santa Clarita Diet, and we’re indebted to creator Victor Fresco for bringing this idea to Netflix. To their endless credit, the incredible Drew Barrymore and Timothy Olyphant were totally game, with an uncanny knack for comedy that brought Sheila and Joel Hammond to vibrant life, even though one of them was undead. We’re grateful to Victor, Drew, and Timothy, along with fellow executive producers Tracy Katsky, Aaron Kaplan, Chris Miller and Ember Truesdell and the terrific cast, including Liv Hewson and Skyler Gisondo, and crew for three hilarious seasons for Netflix members to discover for years to come.”
The cancellation is understandable in a broader context in regards to streaming services. With the exception of a small handful of massive break out hits, original streaming series rarely go beyond a third season. In the case of Netflix, only 10% of their original series get a fourth season or beyond – a better rate than the 7% of Amazon shows that do the same.
An article on this in THR goes into further detail citing a source saying internal analytics suggest streamers don’t gain any additional subscribers when a show goes beyond two seasons:
“No one is sitting there going, ‘Ah man, I can’t wait for Lost in Space to come back on.’ It’s one of 500 boxes on that screen, and when they pay $130 million to put 10 more episodes up, all that happens is there are 10 more episodes behind that box. Ted Sarandos has to decide, ‘Is anybody going to subscribe to Netflix because of more episodes behind that box?’.”
In fact, there’s more of an incentive for them to cancel early as profit participation points for a show’s creative team will often start in a show’s third season but typically only become lucrative in the fourth season and beyond. Cutting it early means not having to pay out to talent when a show hits a certain season.