Reality TV is taking over streaming. Netflix began making inroads into the genre with baking and cooking competitions on the back of acquiring the popular Great British Baking Show. The service then dove headfirst into the dating pool in 2020 with back-to-back hits The Circle and Too Hot To Handle. With the shows hitting their stride as audience juggernauts, Netflix is getting down on one knee to try for a long-term commitment, handing The Circle a renewal for two more seasons beyond the already-greenlit Season 3. With Netflix’s The Circle renewed for Seasons 4 and 5, fans have plenty of relationship mess on the horizon.
The Circle is based on a British reality series of the same name that took the dating game and moved it into the world of social media. As the famous meme goes, “On the internet, no one knows you’re a dog.” Here, with the contestants living in separate apartments within the same building but never meeting face to face, their interactions with each other are fraught with one question: Is this person really who they seem?
Season 1 of The Circle landed in January 2020 using an experimental release schedule, with episodes arriving in batches over several weeks. It wasn’t a straight weekly release format, but rather a hybrid, mixing in Netflix’s patented marathon “all episodes arriving at once” formula. That allowed fans to watch multiple installments at once but still have new ones to anticipate every week.
The series was such a success, 2021 is getting two seasons, a spring and a fall edition. The Circle Season 2 debuted in April. According to Netflix, it was “one of our most popular unscripted shows of 2021,” with “more than 14 million households tuned in within 28 days after it premiered.”
With Season 3 fast approaching in the fall, Netflix has doubled down again, planning Seasons 4 and 5. Once again, actor and comedian Michelle Buteau will return as host to new crops of contestants. But what those contestants find once they move in could change the game. According to a Netflix press release, the upcoming seasons will include “new twists and surprises in store as each cast of contestants strategizes to earn the ultimate cash prize as top influencer.”
The Circle Seasons 1 and 2 are streaming on Netflix now. Season 3 is slated to arrive later in 2021. Season 4 and 5 are expected to debut in 2022. Casting for both new seasons of The Circle is underway.