Is Santa Clarita Diet Season 4 Got Cancellation on Netflix?
Netflix's Santa Clarita Diet, a rare horror-comedy adored by both reviewers and viewers, enjoyed tremendous success in its first season. But, despite its popularity and praise, the streaming behemoth cancelled the show after only three seasons (according to Digitalspy).
Santa Clarita Diet featured married real estate agents Sheila and Joel Hammond, whose lives are flipped upside down as Sheila starts exhibiting indications of turning into a zombie. The film starred Drew Barrymore and Timothy Olyphant.
As they strive to conceal Sheila's “disease” and look for a solution, they struggle to strike a balance between their personal and professional lives. Sheila's new zombie form has two main side effects: a thirst for human flesh and a changed personality that causes her to experience violent mood swings.
Fans of the show were angry and wanted to know what happened. Netflix doesn't usually say much about what goes on behind the scenes, but there are some hints as to why this one didn't make it to the end.
Netflix's “cost-plus” budget approach, which pays for a show's production costs upfront as well as a premium of 30% or more of the total costs, was cited as the cause of Santa Clarita Diet's cancellation. With each new season, that number rises. The price can reach millions by the third season when the studio starts to pay for the series' back end.
It's not a big surprise that money is the biggest reason why the platform makes decisions. There isn't a magic money tree, as Theresa May put it.
In the case of Santa Clarita Diet, it was clear that Holland and her coworkers didn't see a good reason to keep spending money on it.
She also said, “Critical praise is important, but our main goal is to make the most of our investment dollars and give our investors a good return on their money. It's not our money, it's theirs.”
Talking about investors sounds very like Wall Street, and most viewers don't give a hoot about it, but they are a key part of the Netflix business model, and the success of the company depends on their continued support.
Head of original programming at Netflix, Cindy Holland, said, “It's a combination of things. When we invest, we choose how much to invest based on the audience that will watch. When the crowd doesn't turn up, we consider why we should keep funding a project that isn't performing as well as we had intended. Of course, critical praise is as crucial,” she continued.
“But in reality, we're just trying to get the most out of our investment dollars and repay our investors' money, which is theirs, not ours,” the company stated.
The show Santa Clarita Diet ended on April 26, 2019, with a shocking cliffhanger. In the last few minutes, Sheila and Joel had a few moments of ordinary domestic happiness before Joel was attacked by a flesh-eating spider that crawled into his ear on its way to burrowing into his brain. That made Sheila bite her husband in an attempt to turn him into a zombie.
Even though the show was cancelled, Victor Fresco hasn't stopped working on it. In November 2020, he was still hoping that Santa Clarita Diet would be renewed for a fourth season. He was so sure that it would be renewed that he had already started writing the story. Fresco says that the fourth season would have focused on how the Hammonds' daughter Abby and their neighbour Eric got along. He also wanted to see how Joel's new life as a zombie affected his relationship with Sheila.
Fresco also said the following about a fourth season: “I think we would all want to do that if everyone was available. Everyone on the show would love to have some sort of ending.”