Hulu has no immediate plans for more episodes of the cult-hit Veronica Mars, which was revived on the streaming service earlier this year to solid reviews and a polarizing fan response. The fan reaction is unlikely to be part of why no plans are currently in place to make another season, but rather a combination of Kristen Bell's availability (she is, after all, a major star who is currently wrapping up the final season on her network sitcom) and the oft-expressed desire on the part of the writers and producers to make sure they have a solid story before moving into a new installment of Veronica's story.
The series centers on Veronica Mars (Bell), a private investigator who lives and works among the have-nots in a wealthy beachfront town. The soapy drama has traditionally incorporated elements of class conflict along with its whodunits, giving it a distinctive flavor in a crowded field of TV murder mysteries.
Veronica Mars originally debuted in 2004 on the now-defunct network UPN, before moving to The CW when UPN disappeared. The first season remains one of the 21st Century's best-reviewed and best-loved seasons of TV, and while the show never reached those lofty heights again, fans' love for the characters kept them engaged through two more broadcast seasons and left them heartbroken when the plug was pulled on the series.
In 2013, series creator Rob Thomas (not the guy from Matchbox 20, although that Rob Thomas did have a tongue-in-cheek cameo in iZombie, another CW series from the Veronica Mars guy) and star Kristen Bell announced that they were launching a Kickstarter campaign to fund a feature film that would catch fans up with Veronica and the rest of the gang from Neptune, Florida. The crowdfunding campaign blew past its $2 million goal in just hours, eventually earning almost $6 million from fans eager to see more. The movie was warmly received by fans (somewhat less so by critics who were a little more easily put off by the fanservice nature of the thing), and its success set the stage for more content, including tie-in novels and eventually a fourth season, which debuted on Hulu.
All four seasons currently stream on the platform, where Thomas told TVLine there have been no talks about bringing the show back for another go-'round. An unnamed souce at Hulu confirmed as much, while the streaming service itself declined to comment.
From the moment the series was picked up at Hulu, the streamer and the show's cast and crew have had to dance around the question of a potential renewal. There have always been questions about scheduling and other commitments, as well as a sense that there may be a ceiling to exactly how well a 15-year-old series with a small but devoted fan following could do. That ceiling may have gotten a little lower after a season finale that enraged a big chunk of the fan base by killing a beloved character.
It is also possible that Hulu, now fully-owned by Disney, may not be the ideal long-term home for a series that has been a consistent seller for years for Warner Bros. Home Entertainment. And now that Bell is no longer high school or even college-aged, some of its original brand -- that it was headed up by a snarky, sassy teenage detective -- is gone, leaving the series a little directionless. Thomas himself has said that a prospective fifth season would likely lean into some of the show's noir/detective elements a little more than he has done in the past, and that feels like something that could be done whenever they have a story and Bell is available, rather than something that needs to be rushed.