Fans have their wish: The futuristic theme park series that is Westworld will indeed get a second season. The catch? You might not see it until 2018.
HBO made the news official Monday after Westworld‘s game-changing seventh episode the night before, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The delay, HBO programming president Casey Bloys said, isn’t about keeping the audience in deep suspense, but instead because the production is just, well, massive.
“Westworld is such a big, ambitious show. I don’t know if it will be fall of 2017, or into ’18. That will depend as we get up and running.”
HBO also announced renewals for two of its half-hour programs, Insecure and Divorce, which are more likely to bow next year, and not have to wait an extra several months.
There was a lot of question on whether HBO would indeed give a second season to the show. Although it’s created a lot of buzz, there was some concern by observers that it wasn’t attracting a large enough audience to justify the $10 million per episode the network was spending.
Yet, even up against AMC’s wildly popular The Walking Dead, Westworld is performing stronger than both True Detective and Game of Thrones did in their first seasons, the trade publication said, averaging a total audience of 11.7 million viewers across multiple platforms.
Of course, HBO does not use viewership as the sole determining factor on whether to continue a show or not. Because there are no advertisers, the cable channel’s biggest concern is paid subscribers both on television and through its over-the-top streaming service, HBO Now. The network in the past has shown loyalty to shows that create tremendous buzz, even if they don’t necessarily carry the audience like a typical network show might depend on.
Westworld was developed by Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy based on the 1973 film from Michael Crichton. It stars an ensemble cast that includes Evan Rachel Wood, Thandie Newton, Jeffrey Wright, Jimmi Simpson, Ed Harris and Anthony Hopkins.
Bloys wouldn’t comment on who might return for Season 2.
“I don’t want to speculate on cast, because there’s still three episodes left to air.”
This also becomes a positive pickup for executive producer J.J. Abrams, who might have found success in movies, but sometimes struggles on television since the years of Alias and Felicity, despite his propensity toward high-concept dramas. His past work includes Person of Interest on CBS, Revolution on NBC and Almost Human on Fox.
Abrams’ biggest success, at least in terms of sheer number of episodes, was Lost on ABC, which ran from 2004 to 2010. Although Fringe also had a long life on Fox, primarily because of its popularity with the network’s executives.
The season is not quite over for Westworld just yet. Fans will have a chance to see how this current season unfolds Sundays on HBO.
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