Girls5eva is getting the band back together and hitting the road — to a new streaming home.
The star-studded comedy, which aired as a Peacock original for its first two seasons, has been renewed for a third round — on Netflix.
Stars Sara Bareilles, Renée Elise Goldsberry, Paula Pell and Busy Philipps will all return for the musical comedy’s third season on the streaming giant. The deal for the series also includes rights to Girls5eva’s first two seasons, which will stream on both Peacock and Netflix. The series is expected to arrive on Netflix sometime next year, ahead of the third season’s debut, in a move similar to what the streamer did when it acquired Cobra Kai from YouTube.
“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,” said executive producers Meredith Scardino, Tina Fey, Jeff Richmond and Robert Carlock. “Today, we are thrilled to announce that our reunited girl group will be re-reunited at Netflix. 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.”
Sources say the show didn’t find an audience on Peacock, the NBCUniversal-backed streamer that also has struggled to cut through a crowded landscape and fierce competition from such other newly launched platforms as HBO Max and Apple TV+. Netflix, which previously rescued the Fey-produced Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt after NBC passed on the straight-to-series comedy, stepped in and made a deal for a third season of Girls5eva with the hopes that its global platform could help the series find an audience in a way similar to the way it did with Pop’s Schitt’s Creek, Lifetime’s You and broadcast rejects Lucifer and Manifest.
Also helping matters was Netflix’s relationship with Fey and Kimmy co-creator Robert Carlock as well as with writers Meredith Scardino and Jeff Richmond. Girls5eva was created by Scardino, who earned an Emmy nomination for writing for the series. Fey, Carlock and Richmond are among the show’s exec producers. Netflix global head of TV Bela Bajaria developed Kimmy during her tenure atop Universal Television, where Fey has been based for years with an overall deal, and eventually sold the show to the streamer after NBC passed on the series that starred Ellie Kemper and ran for four seasons.
Sources also note that Netflix head of comedy Tracey Pakosta originally wanted to buy Girls5eva for NBC when she, alongside Lisa Katz, served as co-presidents of scripted for the broadcast network. Ultimately, the project was earmarked for Peacock and Pakosta, a former Universal TV comedy exec, wound up leaving NBCU to reunite for Bajaria at Netflix.
“We are so happy to bring Girls5eva to Netflix,” said Pakosta, vp comedy at Netflix. “Just like the show, we are so excited to reunite with this amazing team.”
Peacock, meanwhile, will continue to have streaming rights to the first two seasons of Girls5eva and will share them with Netflix. Season three will be exclusive to Netflix. The decision to drop Girls5eva comes as Peacock has struggled to find a platform-defining, must-watch show. Comedy has been especially challenging for the streamer, which canceled critical darling Rutherford Falls and its Saved by the Bell update after two seasons apiece. No comedy has made it to a third season at Peacock. The platform, overseen as part of a content group that includes NBC and various cable networks, has Pete Davidson comedy Bupkis, a Ted reboot and a Pitch Perfect spinoff in the works, among others.
This article was originally published by The Hollywood Reporter.