Netflix has officially confirmed season 4 of Sweet Magnolias. The renewal comes three months after the third season debuted globally on Netflix and will see Sheryl J. Anderson return as showrunner. Here’s everything you need to know.
First debuting in May 2020, Sweet Magnolias has become one of Netflix’s most prized dramas, alongside the likes of Virgin River and Ginny & Georgia. 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 ten episodes, dropped on Netflix globally on July 20, 2023.
Sweet Magnolias Season 4 Renewal Status
Official Renewal Status: Officially Renewed on October 19th, 2023
Our Renewal Prediction: Likely Renewal
Just shy of three months of waiting for a renewal decision on season 4 of Sweet Magnolias, Netflix confirmed that the show would be returning.
Netflix confirmed in a press release that the show would be returning. They confirmed that Sheryl J. Anderson will return as showrunner and executive producer. Celebrating the renewal on X, Anderson said:
“Thrilled we’re returning to Serenity, and looking forward to our SAG siblings getting the deal they richly deserve so we can celebrate with them!”
Also returning is Dan Paulson (Chesapeake Shores), under his banner Daniel L. Paulson Productions, who is returning as an executive producer.
The show will be back for another batch of 10 episodes, each running around 50 minutes. Netflix did not state that season 4 would be the final season.
The stats did have us slightly concerned about a renewal, with season 3 significantly declining over season 2, but the WGA page for Sweet Magnolias indicated over the summer that season 4 might have already been 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.
Why the delay in renewal? It could’ve been a function of the writer’s strike that took place between May and September 2023; Sheryl J. Anderson posted photos of the writing team for Sweet Magnolias on the picket line throughout.
How Well Did Sweet Magnolias Season 3 Perform on Netflix?
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.
Thanks to several sources, let’s dive into all the available stats for Sweet Magnolias season 3, as they undoubtedly played a big part in deciding whether to renew or cancel.
In their renewal announcement, Netflix cited statistics for the series, saying:
“Across its three seasons, Sweet Magnolias has been in the Global Top 10 for 10 weeks in over 60 countries. Season 3 premiered on Netflix on July 20, 2023 and debuted at #1.”
Official Netflix Top 10s for Sweet Magnolias Season 3
Netflix itself is the best place to start when it comes to statistics. 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, 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 that 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 seems 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 the top 10s|
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 Season 3
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 for Sweet Magnolias Season 3
How is the show performing away from viewership? Well, we can look into demand using external metrics, starting with the brilliant site TelevisionStats.com. They track various demand sources, allowing 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.
Their data and Google Trends do suggest that the show, while still relatively popular, is definitely on a downward trend.
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 Noreen his big secret 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.