One of Netflix’s biggest hits has been in the headlines in the last couple of days with speculation that it may not be heading back to Netflix for a second season and “leave” instead.
Update: Netflix has now officially renewed Wednesday for a second season.
On January 2nd, The Independent released a report (which was ribbited by the likes of NME, HITC, Metro, and Giant Freakin Robot) that suggested that because MGM Television has a new owner, Wednesday season 2 could leave the service for Prime Video.
Their reasoning behind the headline is that MGM got bought out by Amazon so that any new seasons could go to Prime Video instead.
Having spoken to multiple industry experts and sources, this report is based on pure speculation, not actual evidence, and the ball is in Netflix’s court, not Amazon’s.
One source tells us Amazon could break out of the contract early but it wouldn’t be easy.
Our understanding of how this works is that Netflix essentially owns the “option” for the title for a fixed period of time, which means Netflix has ultimate control over the future of the series for the foreseeable future. Our intel suggests that if the show is not renewed for a season 2, Netflix hangs onto season 1 for ten years following its release (meaning it’ll stream until 2032).
This applies to all “rented IPs” to a degree, whether it’s the likes of The Sandman from Warner Bros. Television or Orange is the New Black from Lionsgate Television.
The only time in Netflix’s history we’ve seen a Netflix Original pulled is with Disney bought back the rights to Daredevil, The Punisher, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and The Defenders early as part of a “Content License Early Termination” which cost the company over a billion dollars (if not more given the shows ended prematurely).
MGM Television also works on Netflix’s Vikings: Valhalla, which returns in January 2023 for season 2 and has been renewed for a third season as part of an initial upfront order.
MGM Television also works with a handful of other distributors besides Netflix. For instance, it continues to work on The Handmaid’s Tale for Hulu.
When season 2 of Wednesday will be renewed is more of a question of when than if with Netflix’s head of U.S. and Canada scripted series, Peter Friedlander, telling Variety last month that he was “optimistic” on its renewal chances.
Netflix did not provide comment for this article.