Netflix’s original series Santa Clarita Diet has already been picked up for a second season, and now it has been confirmed that Zach Knighton will appear in a major recurring role, reports Deadline.
While Knighton’s name might not immediately be recognizable, fans of the ABC series Happy Endings, which was a sort of modern-day Friends, will recognize him for his role as the daydreaming Dave. That series only lasted three seasons, but the show’s cancellation sparked outcry from loyal fans. Vulture called the cancellation one of the “worst TV decisions” of that TV season.
Dubbed a horror-comedy, Santa Clarita Diet is about a California couple, both realtors, who find their lives shifting completely when the wife, Sheila, becomes a zombie who needs to feed on human flesh. Veteran actors Drew Barrymore and Timothy Olyphant play wife Sheila and husband Joel, respectively.
Thus far, the show has received positive reviews: its average Tomatometer on Rotten Tomatoes is 72 percent and its average audience score sits comfortably at 83 percent. While the critic consensus lauds the “excellent cast, frequent laughs, and engaging premise,” it does suggest that the “level of gore might not be to everyone’s taste.” (Pun intended?) Metacritic’s score is a bit more conservative at just 67 based on 30 critic reviews, with a user score of 7.4 based on 148 ratings. Netflix’s strategy not to reveal ratings specifics about its original shows means it is unknown just how many people watched the series. But one can infer from the renewal that the series has been somewhat successful for the streaming service.
The first season of Santa Clarita Diet, which ran for 10 episodes, featured a revolving door of high-profile recurring and guest stars, including Portia de Rossi, Nathan Fillion, Patton Oswalt, and Andy Richter. It’s unknown at this time, however, exactly what role Knighton will play.
The single-camera series, which debuted on the streaming service in February, was created by Victor Fresco, who also serves as showrunner and executive producer alongside Barrymore, Olyphant, Aaron Kaplan, Tracy Katsky, Chris Miller, and Ember Truesdell.
While Happy Endings, which ran from 2011-2013, was arguably Knighton’s most popular role, he has made a string of appearances since then, including on Parenthood in 2014 and Weird Loners in 2015, and in small, one-off roles in House of Lies, The Catch, Elementary, Fresh Off the Boat, and The Good Fight. According to his IMDB page, the actor has a number of other projects in the works as well.
Santa Clarita Diet is just one of many dark comedies or dramedies available on Netflix. Its most popular one has been Orange is the New Black, but the list includes others like A Series of Unfortunate Events, which is categorized as a black comedy/mystery, Master of None, and the latest, GLOW.