Last month, Stephen King confirmed that scripts existed for The Outsider season 2, heavily implying that HBO was going to be giving the series a greenlight. But now…that’s not happening. HBO has passed on the second season of the horror-mystery series. Now, MRC, the studio behind the show, will start shopping the potential season to other networks.
Deadline is reporting that HBO has passed on The Outsider season 2. “We enjoyed our collaboration with Richard [Price], Jason [Bateman], Andrew [Bernstein], and the MRC team, and we wish them well in continuing the world created by the brilliant Stephen King,” the network said in a statement. Now, MRC is looking for a new home for the series.
Price, who served as executive producer and writer on the first season, came up with the second season with King’s blessing, with the potential new season following Cynthia Erivo‘s character Holly Gibney while expanding “King’s universe, exploring the human, naturalistic and inexplicable with a sustained pervasive dread you can’t put your finger on.”
In the first season, Holly was a private investigator brought in to help get to the bottom of a mysterious case. A man from a small town (Jason Bateman) is accused of brutally murdering a child, and there are multiple witnesses that place him at the crime scene. His DNA is all over the scene, too. But there’s a twist: there’s also plenty of evidence that points to his innocence, with video footage revealing he was miles away when the murder was being committed. As the series progressed, Holly and local cop Ralph Anderson (Ben Mendelsohn) discover the real killer is a shape-shifting creature that can take the form of anyone it comes in physical contact with. The series adapted King’s novel of the same name, and while it wrapped-up its main storyline in its first season there was room left for a potential follow-up.
And for a while, it seemed like that follow-up was a done deal. The Outsider was a ratings hit for HBO, and in October of this year, King said: “There’s going to be a second season of The Outsider as soon as they can get the production going…I know exactly where it’s going because I have seen some of the scripts. I could tell you, but then I’d have to kill you. I’ll just say that it’s really great and a real spooky paranormal element.”
It’s not clear why HBO passed on the second season. Perhaps they didn’t like the scripts, or perhaps they didn’t want to fork over the money. In any case, MRC is now looking for a new home. “We thank HBO for a great partnership in the first season, and for helping to bring in a massive audience who fell in love with The Outsider, we are looking forward to finding a new home for this remarkable series,” said MRC Television President Elise Henderson.
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