Turns out the social media campaign was a waste of tweets: Netflix Stranger Things had already been green-lit for a second season before anyone hit play on Season 1.
When the show premiered in mid-July 2016, it became an instant phenomenon. After burning through eight episodes, fans were clamoring to know what would become of the telekinetic savior Eleven, Hawkins Police Chief Jim Hopper, along with Mike and his friends Lucas, Dustin, and Will. They wanted a Season 2 and they would get one, but as far as they knew, it was still a mystery.
Netflix eventually announced the renewal with a perfectly cryptic teaser trailer on August 31, assuaging the fears of fans who thought they’d never get more Stranger Things. But in a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter, series creators Matt and Ross Duffer explained that was all part of Netflix’s plan.
“When everyone was going, ‘Is there going to be a second season?’ we had been writing the entire time,” Matt Duffer told them. It was good news, but waiting to reveal the information did test the patience of the relative newcomers. Ross Duffer told THR that it drove them crazy, and he begged to let the news out. And yet, they now understand the reason that approach was taken: “Netflix has its mysterious ways, but it actually ended up working because it had built up to this fever pitch,” Matt Duffer said. “I guess that’s what they were intending to do all the time.”
As it turns out, basically all Netflix Originals get renewed. Despite the fact that no one, including Netflix — even with all their data crunching — knows how big shows will be, a majority of Netflix Originals get second seasons or more. Some even come pre-packaged as two-season orders. And that doesn’t even include Marvel shows or Arrested Development, which are either foregone conclusions, examples of shows that are part of something bigger, or both.
Here’s a look at the large swath Netflix shows — both hits and critical misses — and how long it took to get to Season 2.
House of Cards: Initial two-season order
Orange is the New Black: Series renewed before Season 1 premiere
Semi-Mediocre but Ambitious Originals
Marco Polo: Season 2 announced less than a month after the first series premiere
Bloodline: Season 2 renewal revealed less than two months after the premiere
Sense8: Renewed two months after the series premiere
Love: Initial two-season order
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt: Initial two-season order
Narcos: Season 2 announced six days after the series premiere
Master of None: Second season announced three months after the premiere
The Ranch: Season 2 announced a year after the first half of the first season was uploaded
Flaked: Season 2 announced four-and-a-half months after the series premiere.
You’ll notice the zeitgeist-y shows usually get picked up within one or two months of the premiere date if they haven’t gotten a two-season order already. Some of the lesser-loved stuff like Flaked takes awhile to get the green light, likely because in the end, they’re easier to renew than for the network to develop whole new shows.
In fact, the only Netflix Originals that haven’t been renewed as of yet are W/ Bob & David, the comedy series reuniting Bob Odenkirk and David Cross which was a limited-time thing already, and The Characters, an anthology sketch comedy show that can stand on its own.
The bottom line is, if your favorite Netflix show is a hit and it hasn’t gotten a second season renewal yet, calm down. It’ll get a Season 2.
Photos via Netflix