“Cheer” EP on What It Will Take for the Netflix Doc to Return for Season 3: 'It's Hard to Beat Monica' (Exclusive)

"I think the bar has been set pretty high," Greg Whiteley tells PEOPLE about the hit series following the competitive cheer team led by coach Monica Aldama

Netflix 'Cheer' on Netflix

First debuting in January 2020, Cheer quickly became a hit on Netflix as it followed the coaches and members of Navarro College's competitive cheerleading team as they prepared for another shot at a national title.

But along with the breakout fame and notoriety for coach Monica Aldama and athletes Gabi Butler, Morgan Simianer and Lexi Brumback, there was fallout involving Jerry Harris, who pled guilty to charges related to enticing a child and producing child pornography in 2022, as well as others associated with the cheerleading champions — all of which was documented by executive producer Greg Whiteley's cameras over the course of two seasons.

Now, ahead of the debut of Whiteley's latest sports docuseries, America's Sweethearts: Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders, which many have dubbed "Cheer season 3," the executive producer and director tells PEOPLE what it will take for the Emmy-winning series to return, and what separates that from his new show about the DCC.

Related: The Cast of 'Cheer': Where Are They Now?

Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer​​, from celebrity news to compelling human interest stories. 

When asked if there's a chance Cheer would ever return with new episodes after its two-season run, Whiteley says, "I think the bar has been set pretty high in terms of what we would need to come back, but I would never say never."

"I think that world is incredibly interesting. We would just need to find, I think, the right squad and the right team. It's hard to beat Monica," he continues, referring to the team's head coach, who led Navarro to 16 NCA National Championships before stepping down as "queen" of her cheering "dynasty" and retiring in December 2023.

As for comparisons to Cheer, the EP says that the "differences" between America's Sweethearts and its predecessor "really couldn't be more vast." 

"Technically, they're both cheerleading teams," Whiteley says, before getting into the specifics of what separates what was seen on Cheer from what will be seen on the DCC series. "One is really a dance team and the other is sort of quasi-gymnastics, competitive cheer."

"I think many people that will tune into this show will at least have a loose idea of the kinds of skills that are associated with being a Dallas Cowboys cheerleader, which are much more akin to a dance team," he continues, even comparing the squad to the Radio City Rockettes.

If anything, Whiteley had to contend with references to CMT's Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders: Making the Team, which followed the DCC tryout process for 16 seasons. While he wasn't familiar with that reality series when they first started discussing the idea for this show, it was during the editing process when he realized how much it came up among veteran members of the squad who also appeared on Making the Team.

<p>Courtesy of Netflix</p> 'America's Sweethearts: Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders' on Netflix

Courtesy of Netflix

'America's Sweethearts: Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders' on Netflix

Related: Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders Docuseries from Cheer Producers Coming to Netflix — Watch the Teaser!

"Girls that we were following referenced being on the show, so it sort of warranted going back to some of that footage that we could find in order to tell their stories," he says.

And if there was any hurdle to execute the type of storytelling that Whiteley has become known for, especially thanks to Last Chance U, Cheer and Wrestlers, it was making sure "a brand as big as they are" would be willing to participate. "They approached me and there was just something that felt fun and interesting about the idea, but I was skeptical. I was nervous," he says.

"I didn't think that they would be willing to give us the things that we require in order to do the types of documentaries that we like to do," he continues, revealing that he had "a long meeting with Charlotte Jones," the executive vice president and chief brand officer of the Dallas Cowboys. "She assured me, 'Hey, we would be willing to do this if you are.' And the world is obviously interesting enough that it warrants this kind of doc treatment."

The PEOPLE Puzzler crossword is here! How quickly can you solve it? Play now!

America's Sweethearts: Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders premieres Thursday, June 20 on Netflix.

For more People news, make sure to sign up for our newsletter!

Read the original article on People.