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The Money and Rights Behind the ‘Wednesday’ Netflix Migration Rumors

Last Updated: July 1, 2023

Wednesday fans breathed a sigh of relief last week when the hit Netflix series was officially renewed for a second season. The real drama, however, wasn’t over whether it would be picked up, but exactly where it would stream in the future.

Netflix released the popular goth mystery show’s debut season on Nov. 23, and it has already amassed more than a billion total hours viewed, currently ranking as the streaming platform’s third-most-popular series of all time. Will Wednesday continue climbing the ranks past Stranger Things season four and Squid Game to become Netflix’s most-watched series ever? We’re not sure yet, but its rapid success spurred plenty of rumors about its ultimate fate.

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Wednesday’s Fate

The Independent reported last week — ahead of Wednesday‘s renewal announcement — that the Jenna Ortega-led series could be headed to Amazon Prime Video. Some critics call the speculation far-fetched, but it’s not as unbelievable as it may seem. Netflix entered a licensing deal with MGM back in 2011, but last March, Amazon acquired the company for a deal valued at $8.5 billion. Since MGM owns the rights to Wednesday and Amazon now owns MGM, the Wednesday-to-Prime-Video rumors seemed reasonable.

Fortunately for Netflix, it inked its deal with MGM way before Amazon came into the picture. The details of when Netflix and MGM’s multi-year deal expires are sealed, so Wednesday‘s ultimate fate on Netflix, as well as other blockbuster favorites from the entertainment brand, such as Vikings and Vikings: Valhalla, is unknown at this point.

Netflix and MGM’s partnership is extensive, and it gets even deeper since the pair produces Netflix Original series together. A tidbit in this discussion that critics are forgetting is that, per their streaming deal, Netflix and MGM likely have other national and international distributors to answer to in this matter.

Films, on the other hand, are a different story. The MGM movies that Netflix has in its library have more than likely already merged over to Prime Video, especially if Netflix didn’t have a hand in producing them.

Despite Wednesday‘s merger bluff, there is something to be said about how big shows migrate to different streaming platforms depending on performance, traction, and licensing.

Why Migration Happens

Usually, shows migrate networks and platforms because of licensing deals. Take Marvel, for instance. All of the brand’s content, including Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Iron Fist, The Punisher, and The Defenders, was pulled from Netflix and relocated to Disney+ since the House of Mouse owns Marvel.

Sometimes migrations happen when canceled shows get a revival on a new platform, too. It was a case of “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure” when Netflix revived Lifetime’s canceled psychological thriller, You. Lifetime canceled the show after the first season because it couldn’t justify expenses for production against the lower-than-expected ratings. The series blew up on Netflix and is heading into its fourth season next month.

Migrations often make or break shows, and they will continue to happen as the video streaming landscape evolves.

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About The Author
Michelai Graham
Michelai Graham
Michelai Graham is Boardroom's resident tech and crypto reporter. Before joining 35V, she was a freelance reporter with bylines in AfroTech, HubSpot, The Plug, and Lifewire, to name a few. At Boardroom, Michelai covers Web3, NFTs, crypto, tech, and gaming. Off the clock, you can find her producing her crime podcast, The Point of No Return.