The Outsider: Why The HBO Show Was Canceled (&How It Could Return Anyway)
The Outsider: Why The HBO Show Was Canceled (&How It Could Return Anyway)

HBO recently cancelled the Stephen King series The Outsider after season 1, but that does not mean season 2 won’t happen – here’s how it could return.

After a successful 10-episode run for season 1, The Outsider has officially been canceled by HBO. Despite receiving rave reviews and growing viewership, the network has decided to let the series go. Prior to the announcement, season 2 scripts had been written and the entire cast and crew were prepared to continue the story. While The Outsider won’t return to HBO, it is possible that the series may continue at a brand new network.

The series is based on Stephen King’s novel of the same name and follows a murder investigation shrouded in doubt, uncertainty, and the bizarre. It stars Jason Bateman (The Gift, Arrested Development) as Terry Maitland who is placed under arrest due to the suspicion that he murdered a young boy named Frankie Peterson. Detective Ralph Anderson (Ben Mendelsohn) and Holly Gibney (Cynthia Erivo) are set on uncovering the truth when more murders begin to take place and the secrets hidden in Cherokee City, Georgia are unearthed. Throughout its time on HBO, The Outsider received praise from both fans and critics. It is even credited as having the largest viewership gain for a season 1 finale in the network’s history – and yet, it was still canceled.

Season 1 was undoubtedly a success for HBO, but the creators and network initially agreed on making it as a limited series. When season 2 was proposed, the network never anticipated expanding it beyond the current story arc. With that in mind, it is likely that it wasn’t in their budget and they wanted to maintain season 1’s storyline while it was at its peak. Despite HBO turning it away, the production team is seeking a new home for The Outsider. Here’s why it was canceled and how it can return for season 2.

The Outsider: Why The HBO Show Was Canceled (&How It Could Return Anyway)
The Outsider: Why The HBO Show Was Canceled (&How It Could Return Anyway)

Right now is the opportune time for The Outsider to seek out a new network to premiere season 2. Netflix recently let go of Slasher and Shudder picked it up for the highly anticipated season 4. It is likely that Netflix may seek out a replacement for the series and The Outsider fits their current lineup of Stephen King originals. They have been one of the biggest sources for King content over the last several years. Mike Flanagan, famously known for his The Haunting series, adapted one of his most controversial and unsettling stories Gerald’s Game for the streaming service.

While Netflix could pick up the series, it is also possible that Shudder and Hulu could be in the running as well. Hulu recently canceled Castle Rock, the Stephen King-inspired anthology series based on the fictional town so key to so many of his novels. Having a television series or movie based on the horror icon’s writing draws in major viewership based on his expansive fan base. It would be a good move for Hulu to take this opportunity to replace Castle Rock with The Outsider, especially considering the novel’s impressive success.

Shudder is constantly looking to expand their horror offerings. While The Outsider tends to steer towards the genre of detective thriller, it is likely that the niche streaming service may take it on. Ultimately, there are three streaming services that could pick up The Outsider for season 2. Whether it is Netflix, Hulu, or Shudder, it is undoubtedly a major prospect for every network that wants to bring in the high numbers in viewership that HBO garnered as well as additional viewers that will to the service based on the Stephen King name alone.


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