Hulu’s best show has been renewed for a third season – and that’s a pretty significant step for the streaming company.
Only Murders in the Building, a Hulu murder-mystery comedy series starring Selena Gomez, Martin Short and Steve Martin, will be back for a third appearance. The announcement was made in a joint press release from Hulu and Disney Plus – the latest streaming platform being Only Murders in the Building’s in regions of the world where Hulu is not available.
It shouldn’t come as a shock to learn that the third season of Only Murders in the Building has been approved by Hulu’s executive team. The show first station (opens in new tab) and second season (opens in new tab) currently hold a 100% “certified fresh” critical rating on review aggregator site Rotten Tomatoes. It also resonated with both audiences and critics, with the first season having a 93% rating and the second season having a 90% rating among viewers.
What is surprising, however, is that Only Murders in the Building was really renewed for a third installment. Like this? Because Hulu rarely renews original TV show offerings for more than two seasons.
Since Hulu began developing its own originals in January 2011 — the pop culture web series The Morning After was its first foray into original programming — only 10 of its original TV series have been renewed for three or more seasons. That’s discounting the announcement that Hulu was reviving the beloved animated comedy show Futurama as well, as well as miniseries including Pistol and Pam & Tommy.
In total, 56 original Hulu shows have been canceled since the streamer started creating their own content. To put this in context, Hulu has renewed just one original series (for three seasons or more) every year since 2011, while abruptly ending five original series every 12 months over the same 10-year span.
We said goodbye to shows including Y: The Last Man (cancelled after one season), PEN15 (two seasons), High Fidelity (one season), MODOK (one season) and Veronica Mars (revived by Hulu but canceled after one season) season) in that period. These cancellations were likely for different reasons – some didn’t resonate with the public, while others were shelved for production cost purposes. Still, Hulu has a penchant for ending shows well ahead of time, which makes Only Murders in the Building’s longevity a rare but significant deal.
Sure, Hulu has greenlit shows for over three seasons when they’re either a) very successful and fun to watch, or b) because there’s a genuinely intriguing story or fascinating character arcs to complete.
The Handmaid’s Tale (five seasons), Wu-Tang: An American Saga (three seasons), Reservation Dogs (three seasons), Solar Opposites (three seasons) and Trolls: Troll Topia (six seasons) continue to go strong on the Disney Streaming Service . Meanwhile, renewal status for Hulu’s latest offerings, including The Bear and Nine Perfect Strangers, is currently pending. Given their popularity, however, we’re hoping that Hulu will give the green light for a second season to these shows. So if there is public demand and/or a show tells a good story, Hulu will likely order more seasons for that production.
My neighbors have a special message for all of you: #OnlyMurdersInTheBuilding will return for Season 3! Now I just have to worry about who’s next… I hope it’s not me! pic.twitter.com/J8AeH6CpNOJuly 11, 2022
Still, the season three renewal of Only Murders in the Building is a rare example of Hulu execs commissioning another installment on, well, any of the streamer’s TV offerings. There has to come a time when those in charge of Hulu’s original programming start giving the green light to new entries on more of their TV series, particularly those shows that were recently released on the streamer.
From a monetary perspective, you can understand why Hulu would not pump more money into a show if it is deemed unsuccessful. Sometimes, though, one season isn’t enough to determine whether a show will be to the liking of viewers. In such cases, it’s worth betting on a second season to see if a series gains traction among Hulu’s subscriber base. You have to let some shows breathe and expand on the story they want to tell, or the character development they want to pursue, rather than canceling them once the view numbers start to wane. We hope the Only Murders in the Building renovation starts to become the norm, not the exception, on Hulu.
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