After three gloriously gory and frequently hilarious undead antics, we're saying goodbye to Sheila (Drew Barrymore) and Joel (Timothy Olyphant) as Santa Clarita Diet is no more. The surprise decision to cancel the horror comedy comes less than a month after the launch of the well-received third season. Executive producer Tracy Katsky and Showrunner Victor Fresco issued a joint statement and thanked Netflix for taking a chance on a quirky idea.
“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.”
Netflix also released a statement adding;
“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. 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.”
After years of churning out content, Netflix now has to make decisions like Networks as to what shows they bring back for another season. Much like Network or cable television, the longer the show is on the air, the more expensive it is to make. We are going to see more and more Netflix originals tap out at three seasons or less, at least the ones that don't reach Orange is the New Black, House of Cards, or Stranger Things levels of success.
Several petitions have already been mounted to save the show, but owing to a clause in Netflix's contract, any cancelled series would have to wait up to two years before another network or platform could pick it up. Without spoiling anything for anybody, the season three finale left things on something of a cliffhanger, Netflix could have offered a wrap-up movie length episode to give fans a satisfying conclusion. Instead, it's another Netflix original I've invested in that's been abruptly brought to an end.