Hulu's best show just got renewed – and that's a big deal

Martin Short, Steve Martin and Selena Gomez peep round a door in Only Murders in the building season 2
Only Murders in the Building has been renewed for a third season on Hulu. (Image credit: Hulu)

The best show on Hulu has been renewed for a third season – and that's a pretty significant step for the streaming company to make.

Only Murders in the Building, a murder mystery-comedy Hulu series starring Selena Gomez, Martin Short, and Steve Martin, will be back for a third outing. The announcement was made in a joint Hulu and Disney Plus press release – the latter streaming platform being Only Murders in the Building's home in world regions where Hulu isn't available.

It shouldn't come as a shock to learn that Only Murders in the Building season 3 has been greenlit by Hulu's executive team. The show's first season and second season currently hold a 100% "certified fresh" critical rating on review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes. It's resonated with audiences as much as critics, too, with season 1 holding a 93% rating and season 2 landing a 90% rating among viewers.

What is surprising, though, is that Only Murders in the Building was actually renewed for a third installment. How so? Because Hulu rarely renews it original TV show offerings for more than two seasons.

Elizabeth Moss' June Osbourne looks at someone off camera in The Handmaid's Tale

The Handmaid's Tale is one of the few Hulu originals to last longer than two seasons. (Image credit: Hulu)

Since Hulu began to develop its own originals in January 2011 – pop culture webseries The Morning After was its first foray into original programming – only 10 of its original TV series have been renewed for three or more seasons. That's discounting the announcement that Hulu was reviving beloved animated comedy show Futurama, too, as well as miniseries including Pistol and Pam & Tommy.

In total, 56 Hulu original shows have been cancelled since the streamer began creating its own content. To put that in context, Hulu has only renewed one original series (for three seasons or more) every year since 2011, all the while bringing an abrupt end to five original shows every 12 months across the same 10-year period. 

We've waved goodbye to series including Y: The Last Man (cancelled after one season), PEN15 (two seasons), High Fidelity (one season), M.O.D.O.K (one season), and Veronica Mars (revived by Hulu but cancelled after one season) across that timeframe. Those cancelations have likely been for different reasons – some won't have resonated with audiences, while others will have been shelved for production cost purposes. Still, Hulu has a penchant for ending shows well before their time, which makes Only Murders in the Building's longevity a rare but significant deal.

Sure, Hulu has greenlit shows for more than three seasons when they're a) wildly successful and fun to watch, or b) because there's genuinely an intriguing story or riveting character arcs to conclude.

The Handmaid's Tale (five seasons), Wu-Tang: An American Saga (three seasons), Reservation Dogs (three seasons), Solar Opposites (three seasons), and Trolls: Troll Topia (six seasons) are all still going strong on the Disney-owned streaming service. Meanwhile, the renewal status of newer Hulu offerings including The Bear and Nine Perfect Strangers are currently pending. Given their popularity, though, we'd expect Hulu to greenlight a second season for these shows. So, providing audience demand is there and/or a show tells a good story, Hulu is likely to commission more seasons for that production.

Still, Only Murders in the Building's third season renewal is a rare example of Hulu executives commissioning another installment in, well, any of the streamer's TV offerings. There has to come a time where those in charge of Hulu's original programming start greenlighting new entries in more of their TV series, particularly those shows that have only recently launched on the streamer.

For a monetary perspective, you can understand why Hulu wouldn't pump more money into a show if it's deemed unsuccessful. Sometimes, though, one season isn't enough to determine whether a show will be to viewers' tastes. In those cases, it's worth gambling on greenlighting a second season to see if a series picks up traction among Hulu's subscriber base. You have to let some shows breathe and expand on the story they want to tell, or character development they wish to pursue, rather than cancel them as soon as viewing figures start to dwindle. Here's hoping Only Murders in the Building's renewal starts to become the norm, not the exception, on Hulu.

For more Hulu-based content, check out the best movies on the streamer. Alternatively, find out how to sign up for a free Hulu trial.

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.