Sweet Magnolias season 3 has just wrapped filming and is coming to Netflix globally in 2023. Here’s our preview on everything we know about the next season, including what we can expect, how season 2 of the show performed, new cast members, and more.
The series is based on the novel by Sherryl Woods which first premiered on Netflix in May 2020, with its second season dropping in 2022.
The feel-good series (compared to Firefly Lane, Virgin River, and Ginny & Georgia) is about lifelong friends Maddie, Helen, and Dana Sue lifting each other up as they juggle relationships, family, and careers in the small, Southern town of Serenity.
When did Netflix Renew Sweet Magnolias for season 3?
Official Renewal Status: Officially Renewed in May 2022
Two months after season 2 dropped, we were still yet to hear of an official renewal or cancelation, but in early May, we got the thumbs up more episodes were on the way.
Season 3 of Sweet Magnolias is again confirmed to be 10 episodes long.
The confirmation of renewal was followed by the Sweet Magnolias Writers Twitter page tweeting:
“We’re going back to Serenity, y’all! We are so thrilled to share we have a Season 3 of Sweet Magnolias. Can’t wait to welcome y’all home.”
Unlike some of the other shows in the genre, Sweet Magnolias wasn’t renewed ahead of time, so it came down to viewership and the “stickiness” of the series.
What we mean by that is that Netflix will look at the show’s viewership, among other factors, when coming up with what’s been referred to as adjusted view share.
Our renewal prediction was that the show maintained a solid base and is one of the few shows that appealed to a broad audience across the United States and, therefore, was highly likely to get renewed.
Where is season 3 of Sweet Magnolias in production and when will it arrive on Netflix?
Filming on the new third season is again taking place in Covington and Atlanta in the state of Georgia in the United States.
In early June 2022, the team behind the show was scouting for new locations. In an Instagram post, Sheryl Anderson stated:
“Thrilled to be plotting and planning Season 3, with friends, old and new!!!”
On July 1st, the show’s star, Joanna Garcia Swisher, posted on Instagram that she had dyed her hair again to reprise her role in the third season, suggesting that filming is imminent.
In the post, Swisher said:
“‘Maddie’s’ lob is back 💇🏻♀️ Could only mean one thing… #sweetmagnoliasnetflix #season3”
Filming did get underway in July 2022, with the official Sweet Magnolias page posting that they’d begun filming on July 18th, 2022. Their post included the following caption:
“‘Shall we begin?’ So happy to be welcoming everyone home to Serenity for day one of filming Season 3 of Sweet Magnolias!”
On the announcement that the third season is in production, Sheryl J. Anderson said:
“It’s a joy, privilege, and blessing to be back in Serenity.”
Norman Buckley, who has directed numerous episodes of the show, is expected to return to the director’s chair, according to numerous posts. Buckley also continues to serve as the show’s co-executive producer.
On September 3rd, 2022, Sheryl J Anderson posted that they were halfway through filming on Instagram, where the showrunner thanked a gelato stall, saying:
“Many thanks to @dulceartisangelato for helping us celebrate Halfway Day!!! Hard to believe we’ve shot half of Season 3. Time flies when you’re working with people you love!!!”
Production was confirmed to have wrapped up on October 21st, 2022.
Sheryl J. Anderson posted to confirm the wrap saying in a Tweet:
“We finished filming Season 3 last night. It’s been a joy to spend another season in Serenity, working with, laughing with, and learning from amazing artists in the cast and crew. Our community made something beautiful for you. I’m grateful to them and excited for you to see it!!!”
The Sweet Magnolias Writers Room also posted to confirm filming had wrapped.
And that's a wrap on Season 3! Thank you to everyone who contributed to Serenity this year. And to everyone who's waiting: It'll be worth the wait. Promise. 🌸 photo by @sheryljanderson pic.twitter.com/oyoV1GZRsa
— Sweet Magnolias Writers (@swtmagnoliaroom) October 21, 2022
Anderson has posted numerous behind-the-scenes photos throughout filming, including one on August 27th, where we see night shooting at a basketball court.
Given that it takes anywhere between 6-9 months for the show to finish post-production, we’re expecting season 3 of Sweet Magnolias to arrive in Summer 2023 but it could be as late as Fall 2023.
How well has Sweet Magnolias season 2 performed on Netflix?
After a strong start, Sweet Magnolias quickly tailed off in viewing according to Netflix’s top 10 data.
The arrival of season 2 also saw an uptick in viewership to the first season too. Season 1 recorded 21.64 million hours viewed between February 6th and February 13th.
Between January 30th and March 6th, 2022 (the first 30 days on the platform) the series clocked up 161,300,000 hours viewed globally.
Here’s how the viewership for Sweet Magnolias looks from week to week:
|Week Period||Hours Viewed(M)||Rank||Week in Top 10|
|January 30th, 2022 to February 6th, 2022||43,000,000||5||1|
|February 6th, 2022 to February 13th, 2022||58,150,000 (+35%)||2||2|
|February 13th, 2022 to February 20th, 2022||29,760,000 (-49%)||3||3|
|February 20th, 2022 to February 27th, 2022||18,610,000 (-37%)||6||4|
|February 27th, 2022 to March 6th, 2022||11,780,000 (-37%)||9||5|
If we compare the first two weeks to Virgin River season 3 given they’re very similar in genre, Sweet Magnolias lags behind a little but follows the same trend pattern.
|Week Period||Hours Viewed(M)|
|July 4th, 2021 to July 11th, 2021||62,580,000|
|July 11th, 2021 to July 18th, 2021||87,270,000 (+39%)|
|July 18th, 2021 to July 25th, 2021||44,890,000 (-49%)|
|July 25th, 2021 to August 1st, 2021||28,320,000 (-37%)|
Nielsen’s top 10 data can provide us with a look into how well the show is performing in the United States. Between January 31st through March 6th, the show racked up 4,629 million minutes.
|Week Period||Rank That Week||Minutes (Millions)|
|01/31 – 02/06||3||1320|
|02/07 – 02/13||2||1556|
|02/14 – 02/20||5||898|
|02/21 – 02/27||8||526|
|02/28 – 03/06||9||329|
We can also look at raw Netflix top 10 data to see where the series is performing well.
Thanks to FlixPatrol, we can see a heat map of where the show is performing the best. The show is performing the best in regions like the United States, Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom, Denmark, Ireland, Sweden, and South Africa.
The Sweet Magnolias writer’s room celebrated their 7th day in a row in the Netflix top 10s with a big picture of the cast and crew.
Outside of viewing stats, we can look at how the show is performing on Google Trends and IMDb’s MovieMeter.
IMDb’s MovieMeter tracks inbound traffic to respective shows and movie pages. It allows you to get a good idea of how popular shows are compared to other networks. Season 1 of the show peaked at #4 in its launch week whereas the second season only managed to get up to #15.
Google Trends echoes that the second season didn’t quite match the same heights as season 1. It also is seemingly showing a much steeper dropoff compared to the first season too.
What to expect from Sweet Magnolias season 3
Season 2 ends with plenty of cliffhangers, continuing the tradition over from season 1.
Season 2 ended with Maddie, Helen, and Dana Sue mourning the passing of Miss Frances (Cindy Karr). Following the funeral, we see an unexpected event with both a proposal and a confrontation in the restaurant, leading to Cal being escorted away in cuffs. We also know that someone returned after the main trio saw footage of tires slashed on Sullivan’s delivery van.
Helen (played by Heather Headley) had a rough ride in season 2 with several traumatic events but the season ended with her being proposed to by Ryan. Season 3 will likely kick off with the decision she makes.
In an interview with TVLine, Sheryl J. Anderson answered many of the burning questions after the conclusion of season 2.
When asked who slashed Dana Sue’s tires, Anderson said, “I will just say she has a past in common with our ladies and some other folks in town,” adding, “She’s been away for a while, but she has come back with an agenda. She has come home to settle some scores.”
Anderson also said we could “potentially” see the return of Victoria and implied we could see other “troublemakers” return in the future too. Dana Sue’s relationship was addressed, too, where Anderson said that three-way dance will likely continue to be complicated.
Speaking to Glamor, Anderson said there isn’t one sole question heading into season 3 compared to season 2 other than the big one being about a renewal saying, “I hope the main question that everybody has at the end of season two is: Are they going to get a season three?”
Alongside the renewal confirmation, it was announced that stars JoAnna Garcia Swisher, Brooke Elliott, and Heather Headley would all be reprising their roles.
While we’re waiting for more news on the third season, Netflix is still running its book club hosted by Uzo Aduba (Orange is the New Black), and Sweet Magnolias was the book in focus in February 2022.
Are you looking forward to watching season 3 of Sweet Magnolias on Netflix? Let us know in the comments down below.