Lucifer won't be back on Fox this fall, but the series is back — and already in production, despite what fans might reasonably assume was a longer process of trying to break a fourth season that potentially would not happen.
The series, which was rescued by Netflix and will have a 10-episode run on the streaming giant, is back in action after a third-season finale cliffhanger that threatened to change the game forever ... and then had Fox pull the table, game board and all, out from under them. At the time, producers had already filmed a pair of standalone episodes that were going to be scheduled for a fourth season debut, but instead became a night of "bonus" programming, which did not address the finale directly.
"It is an ending," executive producer Joe Henderson said of the stand-alone episodes. "I still think that we owe the fans an ending to the cliffhanger that we created, and hopefully we do that in a form of a season 4. If not, Ildy [Mosovich] and I, my co-show runner, will figure out some way to let them know where we're gonna go."
Lucifer. Season 4. Day 1 of shooting!August 13, 2018
What they eventually found was that strong international sales made the show an attractive target for basically every streaming service to at least briefly entertain. Hulu and Amazon were both reportedly talking with Warner Bros. Television at one point or another about saving the series, which is loosely based on Lucifer as he appeared in Neil Gaiman's Sandman comics and its subsequent spinoffs, most notably a fan-favorite Lucifer series from writer Mike Carey. Gaiman himself appeared in the final aired episode of Lucifer, an alternate-universe story where Lucifer and Chloe never became a team, providing the voice of God.
Fans might be a little discouraged at the shorter episode count, but that is something that Mosovich and Henderson had already prepared themselves for when the series was in danger.
"We've been mentally preparing for any option, and one of the options is a shorter episode order," Henderson said. "I think the fun of that is you get to play around with the format a bit. You don't want to change it too much, because you want to keep the thing that people have been tuning into, but whenever you get a change of format that just means an excuse to play. With the standalone episodes, it's like, 'All right. If you're give us a stand-alone, we're gonna go a little weird.' And I think the show benefited from it. I think we could play a little bit with our storytelling while still staying the same show."
Before tweeting the actual first-day video above, Netflix teased Lucifer fans with an earlier tweet beckoning them inside ...
There is no firm date yet for Lucifer's return on Netflix, although it is likely to be late in 2019. In the meantime, you can catch up with the series on DVD, Blu-ray, or VOD, and check out our epic showrunner interview covering every episode of the series relased so far, here.
On the comics side, a relaunched Lucifer that was likely partially inspired by the TV version will be part of the Vertigo relaunch, which debuted last week with Sandman Universe #1.