Could Netflix Change To Weekly Releases For Stranger Things' Final Season? One Exec Weighs In

Finn Wolfhard, Caleb McLaughlin and Gaten Matarazzo
(Image credit: Netflix)

Netflix became somewhat of a pioneer due to the release method it established for its TV productions, which sees a full season of a hit show drop in its entirety. While this approach is still quite popular, other streamers like Disney+ and Hulu are opting for weekly releases when it comes to their biggest titles. So it’s no surprise that some would wonder whether Stranger Things’ digital home could opt to do the same with the sci-fi horror series during its final season. With this, one of the company’s execs has weighed in on the idea. 

At this point, consumers have become accustomed to the way that Netflix releases the coming-of-age drama (and other shows, for that matter). Some manage to zip through new seasons at top speed, before heading to social media to gauge others’ opinions. You might say that it’s become something of a tradition amongst some crowds. This level of familiarity and comfortability is why Peter Friedlander, the company’s head of scripted series for U.S. and Canada, says that the streamer won’t be changing things up when Season 5 arrives

For the fans of Stranger Things, this is how they’ve been watching that show, and I think to change that on them would be disappointing. To not give them exactly what they’ve been expecting — which is Stranger Things is a seasonal experience, they go through that with them — I think that it would be an abrupt change for the member.

It’s hard to deny that such a change could possibly be a shock to the system for those who prefer to watch the installments all at once. There are those across social media who’d prefer that the episodes arrive weekly however, especially given how meaty they’re apparently becoming. Nevertheless, Peter Friedllander went on to tell Variety that Netflix firmly believes in giving its customers options with their viewing styles:

We fundamentally believe that we want to give our members the choice in how they view. And so giving them that option on these scripted series to watch as much as they want to watch when they watch it, is still fundamental to what we want to provide. And so when you see something like a batched season with Stranger Things, this is our attempt at making sure we can get shows out quicker to the members.

The fourth season of the Duffer Brothers’ ‘80s-set phenomenon is a bit different from the ones that preceded it. Not only has this run been split up into two parts – a choice that Stephen King criticized – but the episodes themselves have become even longer. (The finale reportedly clocks in at over two hours.) The series’ ever-expanding cinematic scope could be the reason why some would prefer the release method be switched up. 

It should be mentioned that the positively reviewed fourth season is making a serious impact when it comes to viewership as is, though. The drama series smashed records during its first weekend, securing 286,790,000 hours of viewership during its first three days on the streamer. I’m not a betting man, but I’d wager that Netflix is pleased with those results. 

If anything though, the media corporation has proven to be somewhat fluid when it comes to its practices, so it is possible that the powers that be could reconsider things. How faithful viewers would feel about the proposed shift is a major question. But one thing that can be said is that if our trips to Hawkins, Indiana do become weekly, the buzz that surrounds each season of Stranger Things would arguably last longer than usual. 

The second volume of Stranger Things Season 4 premieres on July 1, so be sure to have that Netflix subscription so that you get the answers to the major questions we have at the moment.

Erik Swann
Senior Content Producer

Covering superheroes, sci-fi, comedy, and almost anything else in film and TV. I eat more pizza than the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.