We’ve now returned to Serenity for the third time, but will there be a fourth? Season 4 of Sweet Magnolias will be a must for fans of the show, so below, we’ll take a look at how well it is performing, what Netflix has said about the future, and what we can expect from any additional outing. Let’s take a look.
Note: This is an ongoing preview for Sweet Magnolias season 4 and will be updated over time to reflect new statistics and news. It was last updated in early September 2023.
First debuting in May 2020, Sweet Magnolias has become one of Netflix’s most prized dramas compared to the likes of Virgin River. Based on Sherryl Woods’s book series, the show is developed by Sheryl J. Anderson and stars JoAnna Garcia Swisher, Brooke Elliott, and Heather Headley.
The third season, consisting of another ten episodes, dropped on Netflix globally on July 20th, 2023.
While prior seasons have been fan favorites, we should note that review scores on both IMDb and RottenTomatoes (S3 has a 48% rating) have been notably lower for the third season, with many complaining about the pace of the latest entry.
Has Netflix Renewed or Canceled Sweet Magnolias Season 4?
Official Renewal Status: Not Yet Renewed / Pending
Our Renewal Prediction: Likely Renewal
Nearly two months after the show’s third season dropped on Netflix, there’s been no decision on season 4 of Sweet Magnolias as of yet.
The stats have us slightly concerned, with season 3 significantly declining over season 2. If you had to pin us to an answer, we’d guess a final season renewal order or cancelation, hence 50/50.
The WGA page for Sweet Magnolias indicates a season 4 may be in the works or is in some way in early development (before the strike, of course), but just because it’s listed there doesn’t mean it’s received an official greenlight.
As we’ve covered before, the requirements of getting a season renewal order at Netflix are a bit of a dark art, but there are a few sources we, the public, can look to as key success indicators. We’ll be looking at the show’s performance in a second.
Naturally, any decision on the show’s future is likely tied up with the two big Hollywood strikes (SAG-AFTRA and WGA both apply to Sweet Magnolias).
For most Netflix shows, it would appear that Netflix is waiting until after the strikes have resolved before announcing the future, but a few have managed to get renewed, like The Lincoln Lawyer season 3.
Sheryl J. Anderson recently posted photos of much of the writing team (and many other contributors to the show) on strike.
How Well is Sweet Magnolias Season 3 Performing on Netflix?
Thanks to several sources, let’s dive into all the available stats for Sweet Magnolias season 3, as this will undoubtedly play a big part in deciding whether to renew or cancel. Of course, no metric is perfect, so we’re using various pieces of an overall puzzle to build a picture of the show’s success or failure.
Official Netflix Top 10s
Netflix itself is the best place to start. Every Tuesday evening, they release 40 viewership stats for their biggest titles of the past seven days.
In total, Sweet Magnolias season 3 featured in the global Netflix top 10s for four weeks in total picking up 126.40 million hours between July 16th and August 13th before dropping out of the top 10s.
That contrasts with the five weeks season 2 featured in the global top 10s. Here’s how the hours look from week to week, and here you can see that viewership looks to have dropped by around 10% between seasons 2 and 3.
|Week #||Season 2||Season 3|
|Week 2||58,150,000 (+35%)||45,900,000 (+16%)|
|Week 3||29,760,000 (-49%)||24,800,000 (-46%)|
|Week 4||18,610,000 (-37%)||16,200,000 (-35%)|
|Week 5||11,780,000 (-37%)||Out of Top 10|
Turning the raw hourly numbers into CVE (Completed Viewing Equivalent), we can compare how well season 3 compares to season 2 plus other returning Netflix Originals.
In our top 10 report for July 26th, we note that in the first four days, the CVE was 4.6 million views vs. the 5.1 million season 2 got in a three-day window.
That 4.6 million puts it in the lower ends of recent season launches, such as the 19.2 million Ginny & Georgia got and the 8.5 million that Sex/Life S2 (which was canceled) got.
Nielsen Stats for Sweet Magnolias
Nielsen releases its top 10s and covers US Television viewing, and from that, we know that all 30 episodes picked up 3,911 million minutes between July 17 and August 13:
- 07/17-07/23 – 1218 million minutes
- 07/24-07/30 – 1422 million minutes
- 07/31-08/06 – b740 million minutes
- 08/07-08/13 – 531 million minutes
TelevisionStats.com and External Demand
How is the show performing away from viewership? Well, there we can look into demand using external metrics, starting with the brilliant site TelevisionStats.com.
They track various demand sources which allows us to see the show is currently trailing vs some of the other shows in 2023 that have debuted and, most importantly, got a renewal.
Looking at Google Trends, we can see a big decay in interest worldwide in searches for the show compared to seasons 1 and 2. Season 3 peaked at 56 on their interest chart compared to the peak of 85 for season 2:
What to Expect from Sweet Magnolias Season 4
Season 3 of Sweet Magnolias may not have ended with a major cliffhanger, but it left us with plenty of lingering questions heading into season 4.
One such question revolves around Erik and Helen’s potential reunion. Although Helen officially ended things with Ryan, the possibility of her rekindling a romance with Erik remains uncertain. Despite their evident fondness for each other, can their friendship, and perhaps even their relationship, be restored?
Other major questions heading into a possible fourth season include:
- What’s the future for Peggy? Will she run and become mayor following Trent’s stepping down?
- Will Ty and Annie finally get together after Annie’s long-running crush?
- Will Isaac tell his big secret to Noreen about being Bill’s son?
- Have we really seen the last of Kathy and Bill?
Brooke Elliott teased to the outlet TV Line that more could be on the way, saying:
“That was the brilliance in the way it was written. The finale did have some closure, but if you dig in, you can see that there are still stories to come. There are other pieces that could be revealed. Hopefully we get more. That would be great.”
The show has mostly departed from the original source material with its own plotlines, but should the show continue, there are eleven book entries in total to take cues from.
Do you want to see season 4 of Sweet Magnolias? Let us know in the comments below.