Netflix continues to cull its catalog of original series, as Santa Clarita Diet is canceled after just three seasons. The streaming giant has been giving some of its original programs smaller and smaller runs as of late, with series like Marvel’s slate of superhero shows, as well as Friends From College, and One Day at a Time all receiving their pink slips in recent months. The move is in stark contrast to the Netflix of just a few years ago, which seemed reluctant to cancel even its most expensive underperforming originals, suggesting a new paradigm for the streamer in the wake of emerging competition from Disney+ and more.
The shift in the way Netflix manages its originals has now claimed a true oddity in television, a light, suburban comedy about a family who happens to include an undead woman who feeds on human flesh. Starring Drew Barrymore and Timothy Olyphant, Santa Clarita Diet was one of Netflix’s most original originals, a series that attempted to blend rapid-fire dialogue with a story that racked up an almost absurd body count and produced buckets of gore in the process. The result was a wonderfully weird series from Victor Fresco (Better Off Ted) that, at the end of its third season, was building toward a huge shift in the dynamic between Sheila (Barrymore) and Joel (Olyphant) Hammond.
As reported by Deadline, Netflix has decided to end Santa Clarita Diet, saying, “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 release from the service went on to say that viewers will still be able to re-watch or discover the first three seasons of the series for years to come. For his part, Olyphant seemed to see the writing on the wall, telling TVLine in early April “Every time I turn around they’re cancelling a show over there.”
As for why the “zom-com” had to go, Deadline has reported it’s all part of the Netflix bottom line, as many of the shows receiving their walking papers were about to become even more expensive for the streamer due to a deal in which a sizable pay and bonus structure would kick in after the third season.
Viewers of the show are left in limbo, as mentioned before, season 3 of Santa Clarita Diet ended on a significant cliffhanger that would have completely altered a key dynamic of the series, as well as the relationship between Shiela and Joel — not to mention their daughter Abby (Liv Hewson) and neighbor Eric (Skyler Gisondo).
Santa Clarita Diet seasons 1-3 are available to stream on Netflix.