Although Yellowjackets' Season 3 renewal came ahead of Season 2's debut, a promising update may shed some light on the show's potential release back to the small screen.
Yellowjackets is a psychological drama revolving around a group of high school girls becoming stranded in the wild. As a result of their predicament, some of them resort to cannibalism to stay alive.
In December 2022, Showtime renewed Yellowjackets for Season 3, which was three months before its Season 2 premiere in March 2023.
Showtime and Paramount Media President Chris McCarthy explained the decision to renew Yellowjackets early, noting that they simply wanted to "maximize the momentum" of the show:
“With 'Yellowjackets’ runaway success in season one and the pent-up anticipation for season two, we wanted to maximize the momentum by fast tracking season three now. The show’s ambition is only exceeded by its execution, and I thank the incredible creative team behind it, including Ashley, Bart, Jonathan, eOne and the Showtime team, for turning this into such a success.”
However, there is no announced release date for Yellowjackets Season 3 due to the Hollywood writers' and actors' strikes.
New Update Reveals Yellowjacket Season 3's Status
Deadline shared that Yellowjackets' writers' room opened on October 4, meaning that work for Season 3 has begun.
The writers' room of the hit Showtime series shut down after one day once the Writers Guild of America's strike began in May 2023.
It remains to be seen when Season 3 will premiere. For reference, Yellowjackets made its debut on Showtime on November 14, 2021. Season 2 then premiered on the network on March 26, 2022.
In addition, Yellowjackets co-creator Ashley Lyle confirmed in June 2023 that a "bonus episode" will be released in-between Seasons 2 and 3:
"There will be a bonus episode between seasons, but I love you guys and I don’t want y’all to lose sleep thinking it’s tonight."
Lyle's comment may indicate that the first order of business in the re-opening of the writers' room is the bonus episode that she promised to fans.
When Will Yellowjackets Season 3 Release?
If the bonus episode will be prioritized by the writers during their return to work, then it's possible that Season 3 may experience a slight delay.
The writers began working on the script for Yellowjackets Season 2 in May 2022, with cameras rolling in August 2022, via Collider. Filming then wrapped in February 2023, leading to its March 2023 premiere on Showtime.
Based on Season 2's timeline, Yellowjackets Season 3's script could be done in three months, meaning that filming could begin sometime in January 2024.
Barring no delays, Season 3 could be released on Showtime in the summer or fall of 2024, with the latter being the most likely window.
As for the bonus episode, Showtime may end up releasing it in mid-2024, considering Yellowjackets co-creator Ashley Lyle's promise that it will premiere before Season 3.
The first two seasons of Yellowjackets are available on Hulu and The Roku Channel.