If you’re still making your way through Schitt’s Creek on Netflix, you might want to hurry up—or else subscribe to Hulu, too. The popular Canadian sitcom, which swept the Emmys in unprecedented fashion in 2020, is leaving Netflix at the start of October, with all six seasons shifting over to the Disney-owned Hulu.
This might come as a surprise to the many people who assumed Schitt’s Creek was a Netflix original. It’s home network was the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, which is understandably unknown to most Americans, and its original American home was an obscure basic cable channel called Pop that didn’t exist until after users started canceling cable en masse and thus never really developed any kind of cultural footprint. Most American viewers first encountered the show through Netflix, giving many the mistaken belief that it was a Netflix original. Its popularity on the streamer grew slowly with every season, peaking during the first year of the pandemic, which coincided with the show’s last season.
Hulu snagged the rights to the show in a multi-year deal whose financial terms haven’t been revealed. Given how much money streamers have paid for the rights to evergreen sitcoms like The Office, Seinfeld, Modern Family, and Friends, we can assume a pretty big bag of dough is on its way to show creators Eugene and Dan Levy. The show will land on Hulu on Oct. 3, which I thought was maybe Canadian Thanksgiving, but that’s actually Oct. 10, so it’s a week early. No word on if it stays on Netflix right up to Oct. 3, or if there’ll be a weird two-day gap in streaming access to Schitt’s Creek. Could society survive two whole days without being able to stream the Rose family? We might find out in a few months.
“Based on the number of Schitt’s Creek GIFs we Slack every day, it’s no surprise that we are absolutely thrilled to welcome Johnny, Moira, Alexis, ‘Daviiid’ and the wonderfully unique residents of Schitt’s Creek to Hulu,” Hulu’s president, Joe Early, said in an official announcement. “We can’t wait to share the award-winning, blisteringly-funny, yet heartwarming series and characters with our subscribers. We know they’ll fit in nicely.”
This probably isn’t the best time for Netflix to lose one of its most popular shows, as the company is reeling from subscription losses and a stock price that dropped over 35% in one day earlier this month. It cost the company over $50 billion in market cap, and in its wake Netflix has cut back huge on its content spending, with its animation department taking an especially big hit. Netflix is still a massive and powerful player in the entertainment business, of course, but it’s now facing challenges that it’s never had to face since focusing on streaming 15 years ago.
Given the nature of streaming and the high dollar value of these deals, don’t be surprised if every popular sitcom that isn’t owned by the same company as a streamer inevitably has its time on all of the apps. When Hulu’s deal runs out perhaps it’ll be HBO Max’s time to stream Schitt’s Creek, or maybe even Paramount+? All we know for sure is neither Quibi or CNN+ will ever get their turn with the show.