This Is Why Netflix's 'You' Almost Didn't Happen

Netflix's psychological thriller You was easily one of the most gripping shows to come out of 2018, but it very nearly didn't happen.

The 10-part series, which is based on the novel of the same name by Caroline Kepnes, follows New York bookstore manager Joe Goldberg (Penn Badgely) as he becomes obsessed with writer Guinevere Beck (Elizabeth Lail).

While so many of us became obsessed with watching Joe as he transgressed from online stalker to full on serial killer, the show's writer admitted he struggled to find a network to pick up the show.

Credit: Netflix
Credit: Netflix

Speaking at the INTV conference, Greg Berlanti said: "We pitched it and sold it to Showtime of all places, but once they read the script, they were really cool about saying, 'You can take it somewhere else'."

He went on to explain how he then took the show to Lifetime, but it took more than two years to get it out - and even when You did get released, it didn't do too well...

Credit: Netflix
Credit: Netflix

"You go into offices and sound like a crazy person. 'I still think it's going to work, I still think it's going to work - maybe one more episode, maybe if people have a chance to see five more episodes.'"

After the first season flopped, Lifetime decided against doing a second series - but that's when Netflix stepped in and bought the show, and we couldn't thank them enough for it. The online streaming giant released the show on Boxing Day, and after huge success even decided to commission a second season.

Credit: Netflix
Credit: Netflix

Greg explained how as soon as the show was released on Netflix, he "started getting a flood of emails and texts from people - who knew me and knew the show had been on since the summer - and then I felt like people were really discovering the show."

Now if you could hurry up and get season two on the go, that would be great.

Featured Image Credit: Netflix

Emma Rosemurgey

Emma Rosemurgey is an NCTJ trained Junior Journalist at PRETTY52. She graduated from the University of Central Lancashire in Preston and started her career in regional newspapers before joining the team in 2017. Contact her on

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