La Brea Renewed Ahead Of Winter Premiere, But There's Bad News For Season 3
Fans of La Brea have some good news and some bad news about the future of the NBC series.
La Brea returns to NBC with its first episodes of the new year in the 2023 TV premiere schedule on January 31, with two episodes back-to-back as a treat for fans who have been missing the sci-fi drama since its fall finale back in mid-November. Winter premiere day comes with another treat for viewers courtesy of the news that the show is guaranteed a third season, but there's also bad news to go along with that guarantee.
But let's start with the good news! Ahead of the back-to-back episodes on January 31, NBC officially announced a renewal for La Brea Season 3. This follows after the show got an early renewal for Season 2 back in 2021, which came on the heels of the show ranking as the #1 new show of the fall in the all-important 18-49 age demographic. Season 2 also received an order for 14 episodes as a bump from the 10-episode Season 1, which indicated that fans could get some answers to leftover questions from the first round of episodes.. (All episodes so far are available streaming with a Peacock Premium subscription.)
The official Season 3 renewal from NBC didn't come with an episode count, and that's where we run into what appears to be bad news for the future of La Brea. Deadline reports that the renewal is only for six episodes, with the cast offered by NBC and production studio Universal Television a release after Season 3 in exchange for a cut from the contractually-guaranteed ten episodes. The release would enable them to look for new shows during pilot season, which in turn means that the show is likely to end with Season 3.
Neither NBC nor Universal Television have commented at the time of writing to confirm, but the outlet reports that the decision for a reduced third season is due to the possibility of a strike from writers, directors, and/or actors in the coming months. The current Writers Guild of America contract expires in early May, while the contracts for the Directors Guild of America and Screen Actors Guild expire in late June.
If the contract expirations result in a strike, then networks could be in trouble when it comes to scripted television in the 2023-2024 TV season. With production on La Brea Season 3 expected to begin in Australia in March, the show could make some significant progress on new episodes well ahead of fall premiere season regardless of any strikes.
Interestingly, Deadline also suggests that the impending potential strikes may actually result in rescues for shows that were likely to be otherwise cancelled, potentially including La Brea. If existing series are able to write and possibly even produce episodes in the coming months, then their odds of renewal aren't too shabby even if they're not among the highest-rated shows on their networks. (That isn't necessarily true for The CW and its upcoming bloodbath.)
For now, La Brea fans can look forward to the remaining episodes of Season 2 and celebrate that a Season 3 is on the way, no matter the length. Plus, if the third season does turn out to be the last and the team behind-the-scenes finds out ahead of time, they could plan ahead for the perfect ending to stick the landing. For now, you can look forward to new episodes of Season 2 on Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET on NBC.
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Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. Resident of One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and Northeast Ohio. Will not time travel, but will sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation.