Will ‘Anne with an E’ Get a Fourth Season Amidst CBC and Netflix Drama?

Anne with an E has been a breakout hit for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Outside of Canada, the show is available to viewers on Netflix, which partnered with the CBC to produce its previous seasons.

Viewers laughed and cried and speculated about the future of Anne and Gilbert, but everyone expected the story to finish the way it was written.

However, the CBC has thrown a wrench into the works by announcing the termination of its partnership with Netflix.

Catherine Tate, president and CEO of the CBC, announced in early October that the CBC saw the partnership as enriching Netflix at the expense of Canada and that they would no longer work together.

Netflix logo on a phone screen
Netflix logo | Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The CBC and Netflix partnership beginnings

In addition to Anne with an E, Netflix and the CBC worked together on Alias Grace. An Emmy-winning adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s novel of the same name, Alias Grace was the first major success of the partnership and debuted prior to Anne with an E.

Since then, the two entities have worked together on seasons of Anne, and Netflix has promoted other CBC programs like Schitt’s Creek to a worldwide audience.

CBC and Netflix conflicts

Despite the initial success of the partnership, rumblings have existed from the beginning that it might not last. A major point of contention is Netflix’s ability to evade the taxes a Canadian company would need to pay in the same situation.

Streaming services like Netflix are under no obligation to collect sales tax in Canada. Additionally, a Canadian company would be required to contribute 5% of their gross revenue total to the Canada Media Fund, but a company like Netflix gets to keep its entire bottom line.

Along with the financial conflicts, Catherine Tate took the disagreement a step further by comparing Netflix’s influence in Canada to that of the British Empire colonizers.

During the PrimeTime conference in January 2019, she remarked that perhaps Netflix and viewers were unaware of the “damage it could do to local communities.”

The future of CBC and Netflix

On the bright side, business conflicts are nothing new. Catherine Tate has walked back some of her remarks, holding on to her initial sentiment but agreeing that her comparisons were regretful.

While Netflix isn’t subject to the same rules a Canadian company would be, they’re still contributing to the Canadian economy and a deal could possibly be worked out to continue a CBC partnership.

The worldwide response to Anne with an E and Alias Grace demonstrates that the demand is certainly there for the companies to broker another deal, but only time will tell. Losing the Netflix partnership is certainly a blow to CBC’s efforts to make Anne With an E season four, but there’s plenty to be hopeful about.

What does this mean for ‘Anne’?

Much like Anne herself, the television show Anne with an E is resilient and clever. While Netflix took more and more of a role in producing the show during seasons two and three, it’s completely reasonable to think that the CBC could make season four on their own.

Whether Netflix picks it up for wider distribution or not, the show itself still has a potentially bright future. Anne with an E Season 3 only began airing at the end of September 2019, so there is plenty of time for season four plans to be made without disrupting the normal schedule.

As of right now, there are no public plans to move forward with a fourth season. Given that the CBC-Netflix drama has made the headlines so frequently, though, it’s unlikely to be kept quiet much longer.

As soon as news breaks about the future of CBC-Netflix and Anne with an E, you’ll be able to read about it right here on Showbiz Cheat Sheet.