After ten years Power Rangers has found a new home. Since 2011 the long-running franchise has been on Nickelodeon but, according to Deadline, starting in spring 2022 the second season of Power Rangers Dino Fury will premiere exclusively in the U.S. on Netflix. This is a major shift that could have long reaching impacts for not just the show but also the franchise as a whole. Let’s explore some of what this could mean moving forward.
More Serialized Stories
While it’s likely that Dino Fury’s second season will continue with its mix of light serialization and stand alone stories, if Power Rangers continues to be made for Netflix this could change how the show itself is written. For the past ten years Power Rangers has had to stick to a mostly episodic structure to make it easier for Nickelodeon and broadcasters around the world to air the episodes in whatever order they wanted whenever they wanted. This meant there couldn’t be huge cliffhangers mid season (when the show would often go on upwards of five month hiatus’) nor could there be long story arcs.
With the move to Netflix, the show could have more freedom to tell longer and more complicated stories, knowing that the audience will be able to binge a group of episodes at a time. The only thing that might prevent this from happening is that, as far as we know, the series is still set to air on broadcast TV in other countries, which may keep some of the episodic demands in place. Even still, if Netflix is the primary home we hope that this will free Power Rangers up to tell bigger and longer stories.
A Return to Longer Seasons
Trying to talk about Power Rangers “seasons” has been tricky ever since Nickelodeon began airing the franchise. Instead of one season being aired over one year, the traditional 40ish episodes for a season were broken up into two seasons of 20ish episodes a year. Thus, for example, you’d get 20 episodes of Power Rangers Samurai one year and then 20 episodes of Power Rangers Super Samurai the next year. While technically two seasons they still formed a whole season of stories.
With Netflix not having the same constraints in airing as Nickelodeon we could get more episodes across the span of the year. Instead of 20 in a year we might get 40! This would of course mean ramping up production much quicker but if Netflix wants the content, it will be made!
Will All Future Seasons Debut on Netflix?
Right now all we know is that the second season of Dino Fury will drop on Netflix starting in spring 2022 but after that things get murky. There’s no commitment yet if Netflix is to be the exclusive home for new Power Rangers seasons after Dino Fury. The future after Dino Fury hasn’t been made clear but we doubt it’ll go back to Nickelodeon after this. Perhaps Netflix is just a stopgap. Three years ago Power Rangers made a deal with Nickelodeon to air the show for three more years so maybe they just needed a home for the second season of Dino Fury. Maybe Hasbro has big plans for the franchise that go beyond just airing the show through Netflix. Speaking of…
Is This a Move To The “Reboot Universe”?
Around this time last year we heard the first rumblings of a Power Rangers “reboot universe” from director Jonathan Entwistle. There was talk of a new live-action movie, a “non-kid” TV show, “new animation” and more. While there’s been little public facing forward momentum for any of these projects, perhaps the move to Netflix is just the first step of setting this all up. Perhaps Power Rangers could fall completely under the Netflix umbrella? After all, Netflix and Hasbro have been working close together on other projects including a number of original Transformers series. If you’re trying to do a big interconnected universe of new shows, kids or otherwise, having them all in one place would make a lot of sense.
All of this talk is somewhat muddied by the reminder that, up until a few months ago, Netflix had every season of the franchise available to watch. Now it only has a smattering of seasons. Why become the exclusive home if you’ve just lost a big chunk of the franchise? Contracts are a complicated thing so perhaps the old seasons could reappear on the service at a later date.
Even still, new seasons getting to debut first on Netflix is an exciting move for the franchise and could mean a whole new era going forward!