In only the second case that we can recount, a Netflix Original series is getting revived outside of Netflix after being canceled although under very different circumstances. Mystery Science Theater will be returning soon.
Running since the late 1980s, Mystery Science Theater has been an influential comedy series that’s spanned decades. The premise of the show is simple, a man is trapped by mad scientists and forced to watch crap movies.
The show had featured on networks like KTMA-TV, The Comedy Channel, The Sci-fi Channel before eventually hitting Netflix in a reboot almost 20 years after finishing on The Sci-Fi Channel.
The reboot was via a crowdfunding effort that was successful and saw the show eventually drop onto Netflix back in April 2017. Netflix themselves then went on greenlight another season of the show which arrived a year later in June 2018 and a one-off special later in November 2018. Then, almost a year later with no news, the show was officially announced to be canceled.
Now, a couple of years later, the show has returned to Kickstarter and successfully raised the money to produce a new season. Over $6.5 million dollars has been raised in total with part of the money going into a platform to distribute the new show.
In a press release on the news that the show had been successfully funded for a second time, Joel Hodgson said:
“When we decided that Kickstarter was our best chance at making more MST3K without a network, we hoped that some of our backers would join up again… but we never dreamed that the response would be even bigger the second time around. We’re so humbled and grateful and deliriously happy to be making more MST3K for the people who love it most, and can’t wait to get started on ‘lucky’ Season 13. Now we just have to make sure The Mads come through on building the Gizmoplex. I guess we’ll wire all the funds to them this afternoon and hope for the best?”
It’s not the first time a Netflix Original has found a new lease of life elsewhere. One Day at a Time is the most prolific example with Netflix canceling after 3 seasons and then Pop TV picking up for a fourth (and what would turn out to be final) season.
What does that mean for Mystery Science Theater on Netflix and will the new season come to Netflix?
First of all, we should note that Netflix lost the original series of Mystery Science Theater 3000 in April 2020 with most of the other specials having departed Netflix many years ago in November 2014.
Will the new crowdfunded season come to Netflix? Unlikely it seems. A spokesperson for Shoutfactory commented that there are “no plans at this time to have the new season on Netflix”.
With regards to the remaining season, The Gauntlet produced exclusively for Netflix, the spokesperson also said there were “no plans” to remove either The Return or The Gauntlet. It’s almost certainly locked down with Netflix for a number of years.
Are you glad Mystery Science Theater is returning outside of Netflix? Let us know down below.