"Of all of the characters I've ever been, Sheila Hammond is one of my favorites," Barrymore said of the suburban undead mom in a statement released via THR.
"She and Joel were an amazing couple, who had shared goals. And I am lucky to have worked along side Tim Olyphant. It was an honor to get to do something so delightful. Sheila lives forever in me. And I am grateful to Victor Fresco, who created a world so unique."
Olyphant, who played Joel Hammond, husband to Barrymore's Sheila, added: "I loved working on this show. I'm going to continue coming in and doing scenes. If they don't want to film it, that's up to them."
As is customary for the streaming giant, Netflix did not identify a cause of death for Santa Clarita Diet.
"The world had never known a 'zom-com' until Santa Clarita Diet, and we're indebted to creator Victor Fresco for bringing this idea to Netflix," Netflix said in a statement when announcing the cancellation of its fan-favorite original series.
"To their endless credit, the incredible Drew Barrymore and Timothy Olyphant were totally game, with an uncanny knack for comedy that brought Sheila and Joel Hammond to vibrant life, even though one of them was undead. We're grateful to Victor, Drew, and Timothy, along with fellow executive producers Tracy Katsky, Aaron Kaplan, Chris Miller and Ember Truesdell and the terrific cast, including Liv Hewson and Skyler Gisondo, and crew for three hilarious seasons for Netflix members to discover for years to come."
When earlier speaking to THR, Fresco said he was aware the show "gets more expensive every year," remarking the Santa Clarita Diet team is aware "of what seems like templates of [Netflix's] studio stuff now. It looks like mostly three-season stuff." Fresco imagined the series having a lifespan of five seasons.
Santa Clarita Diet fans have since taken to the Internet to protest the decision to pull the plug. Netflix's Marvel-inspired Daredevil, another fan-favorite series cancelled shortly after its third season in late 2018, was met with similar fan outcry when Netflix handed that series its pink slip.
"Like our audience, we were all-in on Sheila and Joel. Their relationship, in the face of incredible adversity, was inspiring to write and to watch. Mostly, they were funny, which in a comedy is important. Working with Drew and Tim, along with the immensely talented Liv and Skyler, was a joy and a once in a lifetime experience," Fresco and executive producer Tracy Katsky said in joint statement.
"Netflix took at chance on this odd show and for that we will always be grateful. They were supportive, ever positive, and appreciative of our work. Until about noon today. Still, they were just one phone call away from being a perfect studio. Not bad. Everything ends. This was a thing. And so it ended. We'll miss it but are proud of the work we did and will always appreciate the love and enthusiasm we felt from our audience. It if was up to them, Sheila and Joel would continue for another 10,000 years."
All episodes of Santa Clarita Diet remain available for streaming on Netflix.
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