The appetite for zombie comedy has apparently waned. After three seasons, Netflix has cancelled Santa Clarita Diet. The show, which stars Drew Barrymore and Timothy Olyphant as a married couple whose lives are forever changed after eating some questionable clams, first premiered in 2017. The third season just dropped a month ago and will be the final one.
“The world had never known a ‘zom-com’ until Santa Clarita Diet, and we’re indebted to creator Victor Fresco for bringing this idea to Netflix,” Netflix said in a statement. “To their endless credit, the incredible Drew Barrymore and Timothy Olyphant were totally game, with an uncanny knack for comedy that brought Sheila and Joel Hammond to vibrant life, even though one of them was undead.”
Barrymore has yet to comment on the cancellation, but showrunner Victor Fresco ominously talked about how the third season was created with the possibility of it being the last one, earlier in the month. Speaking on the third season finale, Fresco told The Hollywood Reporter, “We wanted to leave it hopefully satisfying if we don’t come back but also promising something that could be really interesting to explore if we do come back.”
Fresco also commented on the show’s business model, saying, “We’re aware that the show gets more expensive every year; we’re aware of what seems like templates of [Netflix’s] studio stuff now. It looks like mostly three-season stuff. We know they like the show. I like to say the humans there seem to love the show; I don’t know how the algorithm feels about us, and the algorithm makes a lot of decisions, ultimately. So I just don’t know.”
If the show continued beyond the third season, it likely would have ended after the fifth, as Fresco revealed that was the initial plan. “I sort of imagined it going five years — that seemed about right to me,” Fresco said. “I think the relationship is interesting and fun and emotional and loving enough that you could want to stay with the Hammonds for a long time because they’re wonderful, so there’s always stuff there for us to mine.” Who knows, in the age of reboots and reunions, maybe this truly won’t be the last we hear of the Hammonds.