Sweet Magnolias Season 3: What We Know About The New Netflix Season

Even though viewers who love watching a romantic drama have lots of options in said genre if they enjoy using their Netflix subscription, it has still felt like a woefully long time since fans have been able to see the next romance-based adventures on Sweet Magnolias. The Season 2 ending meant some big changes for Dana Sue, Helen, and Maddie, largely in their somewhat messy personal lives, as the relationship status for each was a bit different by the time things wrapped up.

Now, we’ve been waiting over a year to have our many questions about the second season finale answered. While Netflix heeded our cries for more of the love stories in Serenity, South Carolina and did finally renew the small town drama for a third season, what exactly do we know about the upcoming episodes? If you’ve been asking yourself just that question, here for you now is what we know about Sweet Magnolias Season 3!

What Is The Sweet Magnolias Season 3 Release Date?

maddie, helen, and dana sue in sweet magnolias season 2 on netflix

(Image credit: Netflix)

Well, it certainly took long enough, but on May 25, 2023, Tudum revealed some great news, when it was announced that Sweet Magnolias Season 3 is set to hit the streamer on July 20! When speaking with Parade in February os the same year, star JoAnna Garcia Swisher was asked about when the show would finally return, and she was only able to confirm that it would be a part of the Netflix new releases this year. Luckily, she was correct and we don’t have too much longer to wait!

Heather Headley, JoAnna Garcia Swisher, And Brooke Elliott Will Return

dana sue, helen, and maddie in sweet magnolias season 2 on netflix

(Image credit: Netflix)

It was roughly a year ago, on May 4, 2022, that the streamer announced the series would return for a third go-round, and with that reveal came word that the leading trio of Heather Headley, JoAnna Garcia Swisher, and Brooke Elliott would all be returning to their roles as Helen, Maddie, and Dana Sue, respectively. Though we haven’t heard any official news so far regarding potential new cast members, it is expected that most of the important players from past seasons will also be seen again. This means that actors like Dion Johnstone (Erik), Justin Bruening (Cal), Chris Klein (Bill), and Jamie Lynn Spears (Noreen) will also return.

You Can Now Watch The Trailer

the stars of sweet magnolias toasting their margaritas

(Image credit: Netflix)

We've been without new footage from the upcoming season for quite a while, but that all changed when the trailer for the third set of episodes dropped on June 30, 2023. Take a look!

There don't appear to be a ton of new scenes in the two-minute trailer, but at least we can tell that there will be a lot of relationship drama and supportive friendship to go around!

Sweet Magnolias Season 3 Will See The Ladies Work Through Difficulties Brought On By Season 2

helen and erik on sweet magnolias season 2

(Image credit: Netflix)

A lot happened over the course of Sweet Magnolias Season 2, especially when we consider the big events of the season ender, and from the official synopsis of the third season (which was released by Tudum in late May 2023), it sounds like Dana Sue, Helen, and Maddie will be deep into dealing with everything when we see them again:

Following the fight at Sullivan’s, Maddie wrestles with the best way to help Cal and works to clear her own emotional path. Helen faces difficult decisions about the men in her life. And Dana Sue searches for a way to use an unexpected check to help the community without upending her family.

While we don't know how much time will have passed when Season 3 picks up, it sounds like there won't be too much of a time jump, if any at all, since all of the Magnolias will still be wrestling with major decisions in the aftermath of the second season.

Maddie Is Doing “Self-Reflection” In Season 3

maddie on sweet magnolias season 2

(Image credit: Netflix)

As with many other details on the show right now, we don’t have a full breakdown of what the story will entail when Season 3 starts up. But, when Garcia Swisher spoke with Parade earlier this year and gave fans hope that we will see the show return in 2023, she also opened up about what her Maddie would be doing after the reveals of the Season 2 finale, and said:

I can assure you that this season you're gonna see, especially from my character, a lot of self-reflection. She's kind of coming out of that cloud of divorce and really taking a toll on her relationship and just seeing how that's working for her and for Cal, and trying to find her footing and find out who she's gonna be as she steps into this next chapter of her life.

Viewers will likely recall that though Maddie and her boyfriend, Cal, had patched things up and stayed together after their falling out in the Season 1 finale. That didn’t mean it was totally smooth sailing for the love birds in the second season, though, as Cal was forced to tell Maddie about his time in rehab for anger issues (which led to other problems I’ll get into in a bit), she and her buddies had to deal with Mary Vaughn over some political issues, and found out that Bill fathered Isaac while they were in high school. So, it certainly makes sense that good ol’ Maddie will have a lot of thinking to do about how she moves forward in several areas of her life in Season 3!

Cal Will Be “Dealing With The Aftermath” Of His Actions From Season 2

justin bruening as cal on sweet magnolias

(Image credit: Netflix)

Oh, Cal! That argument he had with Maddie at the end of the freshman season was just the tip of the maybe-this-guy’s-too-good-to-be-true iceberg. After he had to come clean to Maddie, Cal then got fired from the high school over his previously hidden anger management problem (which the hateful Mary Vaughn tried to blackmail him over before initiating his dismissal), and then his anger from that led him to attack an unstable fan at Dana Sue’s restaurant and get arrested. You can bet he’ll be suffering the blowback from these events in Season 3, and Cal’s portrayer, Justin Bruening, told People in November 2022:

My character just is sort of dealing with the aftermath of what he did last year and how that ended — that whole punching someone thing. He kind of takes a step backward, which makes him take huge leaps forward in his relationships with not just Maddie, but with everybody. So I guess he starts to really become a member of Serenity in that sense. It's a lot of fun.

Despite how things went for Cal last season, it sounds like he’ll be ready to take responsibility and work everything out when we see him again in the third season!

Season 3 Began Filming In July 2022, And Production Wrapped In October

maddie, helen and dana sue on sweet magnolias season 2

(Image credit: Netflix)

Even though we still don’t know for sure when the show will return, we do know that they began filming Season 3 back in July 2022, when the writer’s room posted on Instagram about production getting started, and Garcia Swisher letting her followers know, as well. Luckily, filming seems to have gone as planned, because they were then able to wrap in October of the same year, which the writer’s room posted about on Twitter, and noted that the upcoming episodes will be “worth the wait.”

It sounds like we’ll be treated, once again, to a fantastic season when Sweet Magnolias does finally return! For now, you can revisit what’s come so far by checking out Seasons 1 and 2 on Netflix

Adrienne Jones
Senior Content Creator

Covering The Witcher, Outlander, Virgin River, Sweet Magnolias and a slew of other streaming shows, Adrienne Jones is a Senior Content Producer at CinemaBlend, and started in the fall of 2015. In addition to writing and editing stories on a variety of different topics, she also spends her work days trying to find new ways to write about the many romantic entanglements that fictional characters find themselves in on TV shows. She graduated from Mizzou with a degree in Photojournalism.