You read that correctly. The HBO series based on the Stephen King work is not moving forward with a second season on HBO. It seems a bit of a surprise at first, but then it kind of makes sense if you think about it. At first, we would have thought it a certainty that the series, about a murder investigation by police detective Ralph Anderson (Ben Mendelsohn) and unorthodox private investigator Holly Gibney (Cynthia Erivo) had more stories to tell. What other bizarre crimes were out there? Or does the evil entity still live somehow or can another arise? Even King said there was more story to tell.
It has been reported that the pitch, originally presented to HBO, included a script and bible for a continuation of the story beyond King’s book; one complete with King’s blessing. It has also been stated that THE OUTSIDER was a decent enough success for HBO. It went from 1.2 million viewers for its premiere to 2.2 million for the finale (+90%) — to become the network’s most-watched first-year series in the past three years with 11 million multi-platform viewers per episode. It also is believed to have done well in major international territories. So why the screeching halt? Afterall, it is a concept from the acclaimed master of horror.
Though there was no official explanation HBO evidently saw the power of a strong limited series, like so many done at HBO, that continuing it might have weakened the concept, even despite King’s okay. Since they were privy to the concepts surrounding the continuation, they must have felt that it wasn’t solid enough to flesh out and opted not to, preserving THE OUTSIDER as a solid one-and-done, up there with WATCHMEN.
The usual thank you were dropped, one including the tip that the series will be shopped around for another outlet. HBO said, “We enjoyed our collaboration with Richard, Jason [Bateman], Andrew [Bernstein] and the MRC team, and we wish them well in continuing the world created by the brilliant Stephen King.” the production company MRC stated, “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.”
And we, as fans of HBO content and Stephen King, appreciate that the series came to life, at least for one season, on HBO.