Netflix executives have scaled back plans for their soapy drama Firefly Lane, which will now end after two seasons.
While the show has not been formally confirmed for a third season, the drama was expected to continue after its second season. The show racked up 1.3 billion viewing minutes in just its first five days, according to Nielsen’s weekly look at the biggest shows on streaming serviceswhat you imagine would set the show up for the long haul.
Instead, the streaming service has decided to end the series with season two, but a second season that will arrive, Ozark and Stranger Things style, in two parts. The season will have 16 episodes, with the first nine available to watch starting December 2, and the second batch of seven episodes premiering in 2023.
Firefly Lane stars Scrubs’ Sarah Chalke and former Greys’ Anatomy star Katherine Heigl. Based on Kristin Hannah’s novel of the same name, the show documents the more than 30-year friendship between Tully Hart of Heigl and Kate Mularkey of Chalke. Friends since the age of 14, the couple went through endless ups and downs, loves and losses.
Created by Maggie Friedman, whose credits include Dawson’s Creek and Witches of East End, the show co-starred Ben Lawson, Beau Garrett, Ali Skovbye, Roan Curtis and Yael Yurman, with India de Beaufort, Greg Germann, Jolene Purdy and Ignacio Serricchio joining the cast for the second season.
Analysis: A surprise move by Netflix?
Netflix’s hottest shows are big-budget affairs like Stranger Things, The Crown and Bridgerton, the mainstays that drive the effort to attract new subscribers. The unsung heroes, meanwhile, are shows like Virgin River, Sweet Magnolias, and Grace and Frankie, comfortable viewing shows with modest budgets and loyal fan bases.
These shows return once a year, always returning viewers with slightly higher ratings than the last season, and for every $200 million miniseries, you need one or two of these series. You can’t eat gourmet food every night – sometimes you just want a bowl of cereal.
This makes the Firefly Lane ending even more surprising. The show had the same cozy feel as Virgin River and Sweet Magnolias, and while Chalke is recognizable for her roles in Scrubs and How I Met Your Mother, and Heigl is remembered for Knocked Up and 27 Dresses, they’re not A-listers. who would have ordered mega salaries.
For us, this had the feel of a show that could run and run. It wouldn’t have the same fanfare as Netflix’s tentpoles, there would be no panel at Comic Con, no flashy presence at Tudum, no billboards, but it should have been a stable banker.
None of the reports about the show’s ending suggested any behind-the-scenes issues such as over-budgets or script issues; this appears to be just a shift in strategy by Netflix, and you might surprise us.