After Locke and Key, Netflix should film more TV shows back to back

Emilia Jones as Kinsey Locke in Locke and Key season 2
(Image credit: Amanda Matlovich/Netflix)

Is Netflix missing a trick by not filming more seasons of its most popular shows back to back? Judging by the response from one Locke and Key star, we think so.

Emilia Jones, who portrays Kinsey Locke in the supernatural drama TV series, recently spoke to Collider about how much she enjoyed shooting seasons 2 and 3, among other things, back to back.

"A lot, actually," Jones said when asked how she felt she'd grown – as an actor – while filming both seasons one after another. "That’s what I’ve loved about doing Season 2 and 3 back to back. I’ve grown, but it’s also a transition. I really love Season 2. I think people are gonna enjoy it."

It's a rarity for Netflix to film back to back seasons for one of its shows.

Ordinarily, the streaming giant waits until it receives viewing figures for its TV series before it decides whether to renew or cancel them.

It's why the likes of Jupiter's Legacy, The Irregulars and The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance only received one-season orders before they entered development. And, as a result of their middling viewing figures (or unknown reasons in The Dark Crystal's case), why they weren't renewed.

So it seems strange that Netflix greenlit a third season of Locke and Key before season 2 was finished. In March 2020, the streamer confirmed that season 2 was on the way before surprisingly renewing it for a third instalment in December. At the time, filming on its second season was only halfway through production when season 3 was greenlit.

The Locke family siblings as seen in Locke and Key season 2 on Netflix

(Image credit: Amanda Matlovich/Netflix)

Of course, renewing Locke and Key season 3 before the second season launches likely happened as a result from the Covid-19 pandemic. Film and TV productions were shut down as the virus spread across the globe, and many didn't restart until late 2020 or early 2021.

Netflix, then, sensed an opportunity to film both seasons of Locke and Key. Shooting seasons 2 and 3 back to back means that the third instalment can be released sooner than expected, and take advantage of audience interest in the show when season 2 arrives.

This, in our view, should be the model that Netflix follows in the future. If one of its TV properties is as popular as they appear to be, there's no reason why the streamer couldn't renew a show for two seasons instead of one.

Take The Witcher, The Umbrella Academy or Sex Education, for example. All three series have drawn in plenty of viewers across their respective seasons and, more often than not, find themselves at the top of 'best Netflix shows' style lists.

But none of them are ever renewed for more than a single season. Sure, it's possible that it's hard to tie down every cast and chief creative team member to longer filming schedules as some are busy with other projects. The Witcher's Henry Cavill is a movie star, after all, so it's hard to nail him down to more than one season at a time.

Still, if a Netflix TV series is popular with TV aficionados, the streamer needs to take advantage of that. For us, locking in the cast and crew to film, say, The Witcher seasons 3 and 4 back to back would be a worthwhile endeavour.

The Witcher season 2

(Image credit: Netflix)

It would stop fans growing frustrated with Netflix over lengthy waits for a show's new season, as we've seen with Stranger Things 4. It would potentially boost the streamer's subscriber base, too, if fans knew that two seasons (rather than one) of their favorite show would arrive sooner rather than later.

One of Netflix's main rivals – Amazon Prime Video – has begun to take a similar approach to some of its TV properties. The Wheel of Time season 2 has already entered production before its first season airs in November. Amazon's Lord of the Rings season 1 won't launch until September 2022, too, so its second season is likely to start filming before the former's arrival.

Netflix, then, might want to consider revising how it approaches its TV show renewal policy. If a series is popular and fans want more of it as soon as possible, it's in Netflix's best interests to greenlight two seasons instead of one, film them back to back and make use of fans' interest in certain shows.

Senior Entertainment Reporter

As TechRadar's senior entertainment reporter, Tom covers all of the latest movies, TV shows, and streaming service news that you need to know about. You'll regularly find him writing about the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Star Wars, Netflix, Prime Video, Disney Plus, and many other topics of interest.

An NCTJ-accredited journalist, Tom also writes reviews, analytical articles, opinion pieces, and interview-led features on the biggest franchises, actors, directors and other industry leaders. You may see his quotes pop up in the odd official Marvel Studios video, too, such as this Moon Knight TV spot.

Away from work, Tom can be found checking out the latest video games, immersing himself in his favorite sporting pastime of football, reading the many unread books on his shelf, staying fit at the gym, and petting every dog he comes across. Got a scoop, interesting story, or an intriguing angle on the latest news in entertainment? Feel free to drop him a line.