After another big twist this past Sunday, HBO has announced that they will renew Westworld for a second season. The question remains, what exactly is HBO hoping to get from their new series?
HBO programming president Casey Bloys told The Hollywood Reporter just how happy the network is with its new hit, while also prefacing that the series might not return to airwaves until 2018.
“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. With Westworld, because the production is such a big endeavor, I don’t exactly know when [it will premiere] yet. I can’t speculate other than to say it’ll either be ’17 or ’18. Probably more like ’18…but we’re a year away so let’s see how it goes.”
If the show is a smashing success, wouldn’t they want to get the show in production as quickly as possible? Delaying a possible release to allow the production schedule to catch up seems like a somewhat weak vote of confidence.
It makes sense with Game of Thrones coming to a close soon that HBO will want a new epic show to take its spot on Sundays. Westworld has done well critically and if word-of-mouth picks up, it could have a similar trajectory to Thrones.
After HBO’s previous show Vinyl flopped, it also only magnified the decisions being made by the network. They needed the Michael Crichton remake to succeed in order to make the transition between one hit program to another an easy one. At $100 million dollars for an entire season, it makes for a costly endeavor and they certainly didn’t want another John From Cincinnati on their hands.
The question then goes to the creators of the series, Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy. Can they make this more of a “watercooler show” or will it end up being more of a cerebral reflection into our own personal lives? They’ll need to make a decision sooner or later, $100 million isn’t chump change after all.