The move is a shock as it’s one of the first original series to move between rival streaming services but Deadline hears that the Tina Fey-produced series was actually canceled at Peacock before Netflix swooped in to save it.
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Although the comedy series, which stars Sara Bareilles, Renée Elise Goldsberry, Busy Philipps and Paula Pell, has been well received critically and was arguably the closest thing to an awards contender that the streamer had, Girls5eva wasn’t one of its most-watched shows and didn’t bring in the same audiences that the likes of dramas Bel Air and Dr. Death did.
We hear that the streamer was forced to make the tough decision to prioritize other shows and cancel it after its second season finished in June.
Girls5eva, which was created by Meredith Scardino, who serves as showrunner and exec produces alongside Fey, Jeff Richmond, Robert Carlock, David Miner and Eric Gurian, comes from Universal Television.
Fey and Universal Television were also behind Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, which moved from NBC, where it had been developed, to Netflix. Bela Bajaria, who oversaw that move in her former role as head of Universal Television, is now head of global television at Netflix.
While it’s no longer rare for original linear shows to move to streaming, originals don’t move between rival streamers and follows only Cobra Kai, which moved from YouTube Premium to Netflix, and that was as a result of a strategy shift at the Google-owned company.
In addition to greenlighting season three, Netflix has also acquired the co-exclusive global rights to the first two seasons of the show, which earned Scardino an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series in 2021.
It follows a one-hit-wonder girl group from the ‘90s who reunite to give their pop star dreams one more shot. The second season saw the girls – Bareilles’ Dawn, Goldsberry’s Wickie, Pell’s Gloria and Philipps’ Summer – sign to a record label owned by the Property Brothers and record their comeback album.
However, they face a few challenges along the way such as Dawn’s pregnancy, Wickie’s new relationship, Gloria’s fidelity fears and Summer’s childcare issues, before overcoming them to embark on their own tour.
“We are so happy to bring Girls5eva to Netflix,” said Tracey Pakosta, VP, Comedy Series at Netflix and former Co-President of Scripted Programming at NBC. “Just like the show, we are so excited to reunite with this amazing team.”
Scardino, Fey, Richmond and Carlock said that they were thrilled that their “reunited” girl group will be “re-reunited” at Netflix.
“Our deepest thanks to Peacock for bringing Girls5eva to life and supporting us creatively at every turn since the first pitch. And we are endlessly grateful to our partners at NBCU for their boundless commitment,” the quartet said. “We are so thankful to everyone at the streamer who fell in love with our music-filled comedy. We cannot wait to introduce Dawn, Wickie, Summer, and Gloria to the global Netflix audience. Well, not fully introduce, if you look closely, Girls5eva can be seen in the background of the Woodstock ’99 documentary setting a porta potty on fire.”
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