There will be no fourth season for Netflix’s dark comedy Santa Clarita Diet as the streaming giant has opted to cancel the series starring Drew Barrymore and Timothy Olyphant. The news comes almost a month after the March 29 release of the show’s third season.
Santa Clarita Diet is the latest Netflix series canceled after three seasons. Following Deadline’s story examining the trend, fans of the show started a
#SaveSantaClaritaDiet Twitter campaign, rallying for a Season 4 renewal. Like with the recently axed Netflix comedy series One Day at a Time, also after three seasons, the cancellation for Santa Clarita Diet comes after a very strong season that scored 100% on Rotten Tomatoes.
The Barrymore-Olyphant starrer also had developed a devoted following and, while Netflix does not release ratings data, its third season appeared on various Top 10 binge/streaming rankings during the past month.
Santa Clarita Diet, created by TV veteran Victor Fresco, followed realtor spouses Sheila (Barrymore) and Joel (Olyphant) Hammond, who led vaguely discontented lives in the L.A. suburb of Santa Clarita with their teenage daughter Abby (Liv Hewson), until Sheila went through a dramatic change that sent their lives down a road of death and destruction — but in a good way. Rounding out the series’ core cast was Skyler Gisondo as the Hammonds’ neighbor Eric.
Fresco, who served as showrunner, executive produced with Barrymore through her Flower Films banner, Olyphant, Aaron Kaplan of Kapital Entertainment, Tracy Katsky of KatCo, and Flower Films’ Chris Miller and Ember Truesdell. Flower Films’ Nancy Juvonen was a producer. Netflix was the studio.
“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,” the Internet network said in a statement. “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.”
Santa Clarita Diet executive producers also issued statement. In theirs, creator Fresco and Katsky, who was instrumental in developing the series, thanked the cast and (for the most part) Netflix. The duo evoked the dark humor of the show with a witty jab at the streaming series’ cancellation, reveling that they got the call at noon today.
Like our audience, we were all-in on Sheila and Joel. Their relationship, in the face of incredible adversity, was inspiring to write and to watch. Mostly, they were funny, which in a comedy is important. Working with Drew and Tim, along with the immensely talented Liv and Skyler, was a joy and a once in a lifetime experience.
Netflix took at chance on this odd show and for that we will always be grateful. They were supportive, ever positive, and appreciative of our work. Until about noon today. Still, they were just one phone call away from being a perfect studio. Not bad.
Everything ends. This was a thing. And so it ended. We’ll miss it but are proud of the work we did and will always appreciate the love and enthusiasm we felt from our audience. It if was up to them, Sheila and Joel would continue for another 10,000 years.
Olyphant also kept with the comedic tone of the series. “I loved working on this show,” he said. “I’m going to continue coming in and doing scenes. If they don’t want to film it, that’s up to them.”
Meanwhile, Barrymore shared her gratitude. “Of all of the characters I’ve ever been, Sheila Hammond is one of my favorites,” she said. “She and Joel were an amazing couple, who had shared goals. And I am lucky to have worked along side Tim Olyphant. It was an honor to get to do something so delightful. Sheila lives forever in me. And I am grateful to Victor Fresco, who created a world so unique.”
Santa Clarita Diet joins a list of series canceled by Netflix after three seasons that includes One Day at a Time, Travelers, Love, Bloodline, Hemlock Grove and Marvel’s Daredevil.
As I have reported, at least some of Netflix’s cancellations stem from the shows being deemed to have gotten too expensive. That is because of how many of Netflix’s series deals are structured. It is widely known that Netflix employs a “cost-plus” model, offering to pay upfront a show’s production costs plus a premium of 30%+ of the costs. The pacts include bump/bonuses after each season that are getting progressively bigger. While the payments are relatively modest after Season 1 and a little bigger after Season 2, I hear they escalate after Season 3, especially for series owned by Netflix — sometimes from hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars — as the studio starts to pay off the shows’ back-end.