In an absolutely joyous piece of news, IFC has renewed Documentary Now! for a fourth season. That at least four seasons of a show this niche will exist is nothing short of a minor miracle, and the series’ loyal fanbase (of which I’m a card-carrying member) is no doubt enthused to learn there are more documentary parodies to come.
The series was created by Seth Meyers, Bill Hader, Fred Armisen, and Rhys Thomas and launched back in 2015 with Hader and Armisen taking lead roles in each episode. Each installment parodies an existing documentary, with comedic takes on films like Grey Gardens, The Thin Blue Line, and Jiro Dreams of Sushi. What makes the show go from good to great is commitment to the bit, as directors Rhys Thomas and Alex Buono (a pair of SNL alums) really beautifully change the show’s aesthetic to fit whatever documentary it’s supposed to be covering, and each script works incredibly well as a standalone story.
The most recent season of Documentary Now! saw a bit of a shakeup in front of the camera, as Hader wasn’t able to star due to his commitment to his HBO series Barry. He still co-wrote one of the new episodes, but Season 3 saw the series transform a bit as it allowed folks like Cate Blanchett, Owen Wilson, and John Mulaney to star in standalone episodes, and the result was terrific.
In a nod to the show’s niche nature, Meyers said, “There’s money in hyper-specific fake documentaries which is why we keep making them,” in his prepared statement regarding the renewal.
There’s no word on when Documentary Now! Season 4 might air, and given how busy Meyers, Hader, Armisen, and Mulaney are it may be a while, but fans can rest assured it’ll be worth the wait.