Netflix has developed a reputation for not just cancelling a large number of shows, leaving them hanging on cliffhangers, but even the shows it does renew, it makes them sweat it out for 40-50 days after they air, most of the time, before a decision is made.
That’s why this news coming out of Netflix today is so shocking: Outer Banks has already been renewed for season 4 ahead of its season 3 premiere this Thursday. The news was announced at “Poguelandia” an Outer Banks fan event in California alongside the cast:
“Seeing Poguelandia come to life was nothing short of spectacular,” series co-creators, executive producers and showrunners Jonas Pate, Josh Pate and Shannon Burke said in a statement. “The Pogues are enjoying an adventure of a lifetime and we now get to map out more twists and turns as the joyride continues into Season 4 of ‘Outer Banks.’ Thank you to Netflix, our cast and the amazing fans who helped to make this happen.”
I have genuinely no idea how this happened, or why it goes against the grain in terms of what Netflix normally does with renewals. The only time I can even remember this happening with a Netflix series recently was Stranger Things being renewed for season 5 before season 4 aired. But that’s…Stranger Things. So what happened here with Outer Banks? Some ideas:
- Clearly someone at Netflix watched season 3 and thought it was really good and worthy of a fourth season. There’s no indication in this statement the show will end with season 4 either, notably.
- Netflix understands that Outer Banks, while perhaps not a Top 10 Of All Time series in terms of viewership on the service, has established a dedicated fanbase for the series and its young actors, and that’s something it wants to cultivate. I know there are a bunch of angry fans of cancelled shows who could say the same thing (hi Warrior Nun folks), but it may be part of the reason here. I mean this was announced at a fan event. How many Netflix shows even have fan events?
- Finally, maybe this represents a larger shift in Netflix’s content philosophy, with an early renewal potentially boosting viewership for a new season because fans will no longer have to sweat whether or not it’s going to end on some unresolved cliffhanger, because more is guaranteed to be coming.
Whatever the reason, I would certainly like to see this more often, with more shows. Though you would be hard pressed to find this happening for first seasons of shows, I’d imagine.
We’ll see how good Outer Banks season 3 may or may not be this Thursday, stay tuned for that.