On Tuesday, the SVOD issued a rare statement on Twitter, highlighting that it was “a bit early” in launching season two on July 9.
Variety has confirmed with a spokesperson for Hat Trick that the streaming giant removed the show because it does not have rights to the program in the U.K. until season three premieres. Given season three’s planned spring/summer shoot has been halted due to COVID-19, it could be at least another year before the second season returns to Netflix.
It’s understood, however, that both seasons of the show are still available in their entirety to global audiences outside of the U.K.
UPDATE: it looks like we were a bit early with this one so have had to take season two down for now. We'll let you know when it's coming back as soon as we can. In the meantime, it's available now on All 4. https://t.co/UQR5dZvqeb
— Netflix UK & Ireland (@NetflixUK) July 14, 2020
In the meantime, Netflix is redirecting audiences eager to watch season two, which aired in April 2019, to U.K. broadcaster Channel 4’s ad-supported catch-up service All 4, prompting some fans to complain about being forced to watch “Derry Girls” with ads.
Since launching in January 2018, “Derry Girls” has been a rare scripted hit for Channel 4. Created by Lisa McGee and produced by Hat Trick, the show is centred on a group of friends navigating teen years at their local Catholic secondary school during the end of the Troubles in Derry, Northern Ireland. The sitcom scored a third season order last April.
The comedy has garnered an international fanbase since Netflix swooped for international rights in 2018, launching the comedy that December.
Netflix’s abrupt removal from the platform, and a public statement acknowledging as much, is surprising. A likely scenario is that, following the season two roll-out on Netflix last week, All 4 moved quickly to uphold its holdback agreement for “Derry Girls” — one of its greatest global-facing success stories in recent years. In light of the pandemic’s impact on the broadcaster’s ad revenues, in particular, it’s unlikely Channel 4 would pass up any opportunity to capitalize on a hit show.