HBO’s new Sunday night drama, Westworld, has been picked up for second season of 10 episodes. The Sci-fi western will most likely return in late 2017 or the early half of 2018 due to its elaborate production, according to the president of HBO programming, Casey Bloys.
The star studded $100 million budget show is about a futuristic amusement park, headed by Anthony Hopkins, where visitors live out their most outrageous fantasies in a world populated by robots. Other major actors who joined the exploration of this dark odyssey of indulging the human appetite include Ed Harris, Evan Rachel Wood, James Marsden, Thandie Newton, and Jeffery Wright.
This, along with Divorce and Insecure, are the first major renewal decisions for Bloys, who succeeded Michael Lombardo as the top HBO programming exec in May. As head of comedy, he helped develop both Divorce and Insecure. Additionally, he helped get Westworld on track after a rocky start when he took over HBO’s drama department in January.
Co-created by Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy and produced by Warner Bros Television with J.J. Abrams and the late Jerry Weintraub as executive producers, the series based on the 1973 Michael Crichton movie began its long rocky journey to this year’s success. The pilot was picked up in August 2013 and the series ordered in November 2014 under Lombardo with a possible 2015 debut. The futuristic Western was subject to rumors over its messy production process and ultimately shut down from December 1, 2015 to February 1, 2016 to allow Nolan and Joy time to catch up on scripts with a possible 2017 debut.
The show debuted in on October 6, 2016 with an estimated 2 million viewers tuning in live and a final count of 6 million total watching the first show including the on-demand and repeat network plays. They continue to keep strong numbers with an average gross audience of 11.7 million viewers up to date, outperforming the first season of Game of Thrones and closely on par with Season 1 of True Detective.
There was controversy over the violence, especially sexual violence, and racy content in this first season, however, Bloys has stated “it’s up to Jonathan and Lisa Joy” if Season 2 will be toned down.
While he is proud of the connection with audiences and pushing the innovation of the creators, Nolan and Joy are “thrilled that the saga of Westworld will continue for another season” and look forward to the continuing relationships they have with their actors, staff, and crew.