Netflix has given buzzy half-hour newcomer Heartstopper, from See-Saw Films, a two-season pickup. Multi-season renewals are rare at the streamer, and the one for Heartstopper is a testament to the coming-of-age romantic comedy-drama checking all the boxes as a Netflix success story.
The streamer famously bases its renewal decisions on analyzing shows’ cost vs. performance. Developed and produced out of the U.K., Heartstopper, which Alice Oseman adapted from her graphic novel, has been an OK performer, spending three weeks in Netflix’s weekly global Top 10 rankings of English-language series since its April 22 debut, peaking at No. 5. (It has reached the Netflix Top Ten list in 54 countries.)
But while it did not dominate Netflix’s Top 10 like Bridgerton or Ozark, the modestly-budgeted British series, featuring young up-and-coming lead cast as well as Olivia Colman as a guest star and Stephe Fry as voiceover, has had an outsized, lightning-in-a-bottle cultural impact.
It is one of Netflix’s best-reviewed series with 100% on Rotten Tomatoes that also has drawn praise for its LGBTQ representation. The show also has ignited a social media conversation, topping Twitter trends for several weeks, catapulting leads Kit Connor and Joe Locke to top celebrity status with their Instagram followings exploding from just over 100K each before the series’ premiere to 3.4 million (Connor) and 2.5 million (Locke). On TikTok, #heartstopper has amassed over 4.3B views.
The series’ influence has quickly gone beyond TV and social. Heartstopper has been dominating Billboard’s Top TV Song chart, and weekly US sales for the book the series is based on have shot up 1,700%. Volume 1 is currently the No.1 YA fiction book in the US and featured on the NYT bestseller list.
Creator Oseman returns as writer for Seasons 2 and 3. Their exact episode orders are still TBD. In the eight-episode Season 1, when gentle Charlie (Locke) and rugby-loving Nick (Connor) meet at secondary school, they quickly discover that their unlikely friendship is blossoming into an unexpected romance. Charlie, Nick and their circle of friends must navigate the ever-relatable journey of self discovery and acceptance, supporting each other as they learn to find their most authentic selves.