Lifetime’s drama You is moving to Netflix for its upcoming second season. The streaming giant already had international distribution for the Berlanti Prods. psychological thriller, whose first season will air as a Netflix original outside of the U.S.. It launches Dec. 26. Starting with Season 2, You will be a Netflix global original.
Lifetime renewed You, starring Penn Badgley and Elizabeth Lail, for a second season in July, ahead of the series’ September premiere. At the time, Netflix already had been on board as an international partner, and I hear the early renewal was done with a move to the Internet network as a possible option. You, developed by Sera Gamble and Greg Berlanti based on the book by Caroline Kepnes, garnered strong reviews but couldn’t attract wide linear audience on Lifetime. Meanwhile, its heavily serialized nature makes it very suitable for binging on a streaming platform. That also was the case with another praised serialized Lifetime series, UnReal, which also couldn’t attract large enough viewership on the cable network and made the transition to an SVOD platform, Hulu, for its fourth and final season.
You’s departure leaves the upcoming Jenji Kohan-produced dramedy American Princess as Lifetime’s only original scripted series. (The network also had been the U.S. home of the Canadian series Mary Kills People for its first two seasons but will not be carrying its upcoming six-episode third and final installment.)
The move comes as Lifetime has been shifting its scripted programming focus on original movies which had traditionally performed well. The network, which has some of the highest-rated original cable movies of 2018, already upped the number of Christmas films this year. And in July, it announced a major ramp-up with an ambitious slate of 75 original movies planned for 2019, including telepics from veteran newswoman Robin Roberts along with book franchises from authors V.C. Andrews and Victoria Christopher Murray.
It is possible for the network to opportunistically turn a successful original movie into a series like it once did with The Client List.
You hails form Berlanti Productions, Man Sewing Dinosaur and Alloy Entertainment in association with Warner Horizon Scripted Television. Greg Berlanti, Sera Gamble, Sarah Schechter, Leslie Morgenstein, Gina Girolamo and Marcos Siega executive produce.
You is described as a 21st century love story about an obsessive, yet brilliant twentysomething who uses the hyper connectivity of today’s technology to make the woman of his dreams fall in love with him. “What would you do for love?” When a brilliant bookstore manager crosses paths with an aspiring writer, his answer becomes clear: anything. Using the Internet and social media as his tools to gather the most intimate of details and get close to her, a charming and awkward crush quickly becomes obsession as he quietly and strategically removes every obstacle — and person — in his way.
Season 1 starred Badgley, Lail, Luca Padovan, Zach Cherry and Shay Mitchell with special guest star John Stamos. Under the original pact, Netflix licensed first-run international SVOD rights to the 10-episode first season outside of the U.S. (excluding China), with second-run window in the U.S., Turkey and Turkish-speaking Cyprus.