Wednesday spoilers follow.
Wednesday’s unique brand of ookiness and kookiness has been a huge winner for Netflix. In its first week alone, the Addams Family spinoff beat out Stranger Things to nab the record for most viewing time in a single week with more than 400 million hours.
Impressive no? You’d think that this would guarantee Wednesday a second season, even in a world where Netflix seems to cancel shows on the daily. And sure, that does look very likely still, but enough time has gone by since the premiere to get people worried about the show’s future regardless.
And with that fear comes one major rumour that suggests change is afoot for our pig-tailed fave…
On January 2nd, 2023, The Independent speculated that Wednesday could leave Netflix and debut a second season on Prime Video instead.
The reason for this is that Amazon and MGM closed an $8.5bn (£7.06bn) merger last year, as reported by Deadline, which means that Wednesday, a Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) product, could move as part of this merger.
Prime Video would be foolish not to snap Wednesday up given its success, right? Well, it’s actually not as simple as that.
In the wake of this report, a host of other outlets also reported that Wednesday could be leaving Netflix, which led to rampant speculation online. Just a quick glance across social media suggests that many have accepted this idea as fact, to the point where some are even gloating over Netflix’s supposed loss.
if wednesday moves to prime video then there’s nothing on netflix that will interest me anymore i hope they go bankrupt 🤌🏻
— bela🦦 (@avasword) January 2, 2023
None of this is guaranteed though. In fact, Wednesday’s future at Netflix doesn’t seem to be in jeopardy at all, despite the fear-mongering.
The Independent’s report even concedes that Amazon isn’t planning to make all MGM content exclusive to Prime Video (as per Deadline), and there are also plenty of other reasons why Wednesday isn’t leaving Netflix anytime soon.
As a Netflix rep has since pointed out to MailOnline: “MGM make programmes for any number of streamers and broadcasters and their acquisition by Amazon does not change that. The sale has no impact on existing rights deals.”
That might come as a surprise, but yes, MGM is actually in business with many of its rivals, not just Netflix. For example, MGM Television produces The Handmaid’s Tale for Hulu and Fargo for FX, as well as Vikings: Valhalla, which will be staying on Netflix still for the foreseeable future.
Still worried? Take heart in the fact that Netflix usually owns the “option” for their titles over a ten-year period (as explained by What’s On Netflix). Even “rented IPs” like Warner’s Sandman can’t just be whisked away at the drop of a hat, and the same is true of Wednesday.
If Amazon did want to fight for the show, they would have to break out of their contract early, which wouldn’t be easy by any means. A lot of the speculation around Wednesday’s future suggests that Netflix could be losing out, but in reality, the ball is very much in Netflix’s court, not Amazon’s.
The only precedent for all this is when Disney bought the rights back to Netflix’s Marvel shows – Daredevil, The Punisher, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Iron Fist and The Defenders – but this was achieved via a “Content License Early Termination” which cost the company over a billion dollars.
There’s nothing solid out there to suggest that Prime Video would follow suit and secure Wednesday’s future for themselves, regardless of any potential difficulties surrounding their contract with Netflix.
But in case you’re still worried, even now, know that Deadline’s original report, the one that inspired this whole discussion in the first place, also notes that “no one expects” the merger “to derail future seasons” of Wednesday: “While there are things the two new partners will have to work out, insiders expect renewal talks to go pretty smoothly.”
So sure, you can stay gloomy like Wednesday herself, or you can take a page out of Enid’s book and approach this whole discussion with a brighter, more hopeful outlook.
Wednesday is available to watch now on Netflix.