It seems Black Mirror is making a comeback. Three years after the fifth season of the sci-fi anthology series arrived, Variety reports that Netflix has greenlit a sixth season.
Details are scant for now, though it seems casting is in progress for a season that’s expected to have more episodes than season five’s three instalments. The new episodes are said to be even more cinematic in scope than previous ones as well.
Critics have suggested Black Mirror was running out of steam in later seasons, with its previously incisive criticism of where technology was headed perhaps waning. The long gap between seasons might have helped the creative team develop more impactful ideas and scripts.
The lengthy delay between seasons isn’t only because of creative reasons, though (if that has indeed been a problem). Black Mirror has been held up due to a rights issue. In January 2020, creator Charlie Brooker and executive producer Annabel Jones left their production company House of Tomorrow, which had backing from Endemol.
The duo set up a new production company, Broke and Bones, which quickly struck a long-term deal with Netflix. However, Endemol retained the rights to Black Mirror, meaning Brooker and Jones were unable to produce more episodes until they or Netflix struck a deal with Endemol’s new owner, Banijay Group.
In the meantime, Brooker and Jones have developed other projects for Netflix. They created a year-in-review special called Death to 2020 (a spin on Brooker’s previous Wipe series), which had a sequel last year. Brooker was also behind an interactive animated project called Cat Burglar, which required players to get trivia questions correct to advance the story.
Netflix will surely be glad Brooker and Jones are working on Black Mirror again, however. The company scooped up the series, which debuted on the UK’s Channel 4, in 2015. Since then, Black Mirror has won eight Emmys and a host of other awards, including for Bandersnatch, one of Netflix’s first forays into interactive programming.