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Sweet Magnolias Season 3 - Everything You Need To Know

The drama series "Sweet Magnolias," based on the novels by Sherryl Woods, came to life in 2018 when Netflix ordered 10 episodes of the series for production (via Variety). It released its first season in May 2020 and quickly became a hit. The show dominated the Netflix Top 10 globally (via FlixPatrol). It continued the trend with the second season, although in February 2022, the second season was quickly dethroned by "Inventing Anna" (via Forbes).

This indulgent soap-style series has proven itself eminently binge-worthy, as shown by its popularity. The Decider called the show a "Hallmark holiday movie, just without all the Christmas stuff and slightly more artful production." The show's Southern charm and relatable character struggles left fans smiling wistfully. However, the show also knows how to leave you on the edge of your seat. 

And this formula has resulted in fans of "Sweet Magnolias" getting the news they've been waiting for as the show was renewed yet again. Here's what you need to know about the coming season.

When will Sweet Magnolias Season 3 be released?

According to social media posts, pre-production on "Sweet Magnolias" Season 3 began in June 2022, filming began on July 18, and by early fall, principal photography had wrapped. As the show's writers put it on Twitter on October 21, 2022, "And that's a wrap on Season 3! Thank you to everyone who contributed to Serenity this year. And to everyone who's waiting: It'll be worth the wait. Promise." Based on the length of time it has taken previous seasons to get edited, finalized, and uploaded to Netflix — about 10 months from the start of filming until they are ready to view, if past schedules hold up — ardent viewers could probably expect to catch "Sweet Magnolias" Season 3 sometime in 2023. Finally, nearly a year after production launched, Netflix announced on May 25, 2023 that Season 3 of "Sweet Magnolias" — all 10 episodes' worth — would hit the streamer on July 20.

What is the plot of Sweet Magnolias Season 3?

The story of "Sweet Magnolias" focuses on the lives of three long-time female friends living in the town of Serenity, South Carolina. Maddie Townsend (JoAnna Garcia Swisher) is a stay-at-home mom going through a divorce from her husband Bill (Chris Klein), a doctor who is set to marry the woman he got pregnant (Jamie Lynn Spears). Helen Decatur (Heather Headley) is a lawyer, and Dana Sue Sullivan (Brooke Elliott), is a restaurateur. The three, juggling the demands of career, family life, and relationships, decide to start a spa.

Many plots and subplots have been developed throughout the two seasons. By the end of season two, Maddie's love interest Cal (Justin Bruening), gets into an altercation that threatens his future. Meanwhile, Dana Sue and Ronnie (Brandon Quinn) have decided to give things another go, and Helen has received a surprise marriage proposal from her former beau, Ryan (Michael Shenefelt), now that she's involved with Erik (Dion Johnstone). Also, Peggy (Brittany L. Smith) was revealed as Isaac's (Chris Medlin) mother — and Bill is the father. 

Jackson (Sam Ashby) and Nellie (Simone Lockhart) have been forbidden to have anything to do with the Townsend-Sullivan children, which puts a damper on a few teen romances, assuming the kids follow her orders, which seems unlikely. Plus, Tyler Townsend (Carson Rowland) quits baseball. Dana Sue gets a hefty check from Miss Frances' will, and the women discover who slashed the tires of Sullivan's delivery truck.

The following season will likely start by focusing on Helen's decision and the consequences of Cal's actions. Still, there are plenty of unanswered questions in "Sweet Magnolias" Season 2 that the creators plan to address (via TVLine).

Who is starring in Sweet Magnolias Season 3?

Given the continuing nature of the storyline, no significant cast changes are expected in season three, and some of the previous cast's involvement has been confirmed through social media posts. 

For example, director Norman Buckley posted an Instagram image of the three main stars rehearsing one of their famous margarita nights in July. Also, the French "Sweet Magnolias" account posted a shot of Buckley with Brandon Quinn, Annaliese Judge (Annie Sullivan), and Brooke Elliott on the set during the filming of the third season. It's clear that most, if not all, the actors will return to reprise their roles, but not Bianca Berry Tarantino, who played Bill and Katie Townsend's daughter Katie prior to Season 3. The actor departed due to scheduling issues, leaving Ella Grace Helton to step into the role, per Deadline. Variety reported in July 2023 that Janet Hubert, best known as Aunt Viv on "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air," will guest in "Sweet Magnolias" Season 3 as Bev Decatur, mother of Helen and who that character visits in search of much-needed advice.

Fans are likely to get a new central character, too, in the form of the woman who slashed the restaurant's van's tires. Beyond that, it's unknown if the series will be adding more characters — but it certainly has enough going on right now without bringing more folks into the mix.

Who is the showrunner for Sweet Magnolias Season 3?

There are 11 "Sweet Magnolias" novels to date, according to Good Housekeeping, which means there's plenty of material for producers, writers, cast, and crew to work with for many years, so long as Netflix is interested in funding and distributing more seasons of the feel-good, small-town Southern-based soap. In developing that extensive literary canon for streaming television, Netflix worked with veteran TV writer and producer Sheryl J. Anderson, who got her start in the industry on the '90s cult classic comedy "Parker Lewis Can't Lose" before moving on to write and produce on the original version of "Charmed" in the '90s and 2000s. Well experienced in lighter fare such as "When Calls the Heart" and "The Good Witch," Anderson also played a major role in the 2007-2008 "Flash Gordon" reboot. As the chief creative person at the helm of "Sweet Magnolias" since day one, Anderson has written five episodes of the series, served as both producer and executive producer, and showrunner. When Netflix renewed "Sweet Magnolias" for Season 3 back in May 2022, Variety was sure to mention that Anderson had also re-upped to be the showrunner for that third batch of episodes.

Is there a trailer for Sweet Magnolias Season 3?

On June 30, 2023, Netflix dropped the first trailer for the upcoming third season of its heartwarming small-town friendship soap "Sweet Magnolias." Despite the titular trio of BFFs declarations regarding "the beauty of old friends" and how "new challenges are good for the soul," things are about as dramatic and fraught as they've ever been in the usually idyllic hamlet of Serenity. Helen gets caught in the middle of a love triangle with two ostensibly good guys, with Erik making a move right around the time that Ryan proposed (at the end of Season 2 of "Sweet Magnolias"). Dana Sue and Ronnie awkwardly and tenderly try to forge a relationship steeped in forgiveness for past mistakes, while Maddie and Cal remain a tumultuous pair. Noreen attempts to enjoy being a mother to a newborn baby without getting personal drama get in the way. All will be sorted out when all 10 episodes of "Sweet Magnolias" hit Netflix on Thursday, July 20, 2023.

Where to watch previous seasons of Sweet Magnolias

Pleasant, low-stakes, low-key shows about idyllic and beautiful small towns and the lovely, slow-to-simmer romances and the perfect friendships that occupy the time its residents, usually working in bakeries, inns, and flower shops, were once the sole domain of The Hallmark Channel. But as the TV industry shifts away from favoring cable networks in favor of streaming outlets, Netflix has made a play at being all things to all people, boasting enough cash and audience reach to position itself as a source for Hollywood-style blockbusters, edgy Emmy-winning fare, and basic cable stalwarts. In that realm, Netflix has enjoyed major success with "Sweet Magnolias," based on a series of novels by Sherryl Woods. Season 1 debuted in 2020, with Season 2 arriving less than a year later. When Season 3 is finished, it will wind up alongside its predecessors — prominently distributed by Netflix.