HBO has made the decision to pass on making a second season of the horror-crime drama, which is based on the Stephen King novel of the same name. News of the effective cancelation comes around nine months after the show ended a successful 10-episode first season run. MRC, the studio behind “Outsider,” is set to shop season 2 around to other premium networks and streamers, according to sources.
The news may come as somewhat of a surprise given the show’s strong ratings performance for HBO. The finale, for instance, was watched by 2.2 million total viewers across all platforms, which represented a massive 1 million viewer boost from the premiere. That 83% gain was also the largest from a debut to a finale for any HBO series in its first season.
Season 1 of “The Outsider” starred Cynthia Erivo as an unconventional investigator who helps out Ben Mendelsohn’s detective in a murder case in which Jason Bateman’s character is the main suspect. Holly (Erivo) encourages Ralph (Mendelsohn) to “believe the unbelievable.”
“We enjoyed our collaboration with Richard, Jason, Andrew, and the MRC team, and we wish them well in continuing the world created by the brilliant Stephen King,” said an HBO spokesperson in a statement obtained by Variety.
Bateman, who was instrumental in bringing the series together and also directed the first two episodes, said at the premiere for “The Outsider” that Stanley Kubrick’s “The Shining” was the closest Stephen King adaptation in terms of tone.
“I was trying for ‘Shining’ in that there’s a certain kind of horror that exists in some of Stephen King’s books and there’s a certain kind of dread in others. This aligned better with the dread, the impending doom of the ‘The Shining,’ the moody, atmospheric kind of stuff,” Bateman said. “I’m a huge Kubrick fan composition-wise and in terms of lighting, he was a huge inspiration for me.”
Deadline first reported the news.