“Renewing Cruel Summer for a season 2 was an easy decision,” said Freeform president Tara Duncan. “It’s the biggest series debut in Freeform’s history and the audience response has been overwhelmingly positive. Jessica, Michelle and Tia did a phenomenal job telling an addictive story that’s tapped into the cultural zeitgeist. I’m excited to see where they take the series next.”
Starring Olivia Holt, Chiara Aurelia, Michael Landes, Froy Gutierrez, Harley Quinn Smith, Allius Barnes, Blake Lee and Brooklyn Sudano, the series centers on the story of two young women across three summers — the popular Kate Wallis, who mysteriously goes missing, and the nerdy Jeanette Turner, who is accused of being connected to Kate’s disappearance. “Cruel Summer” is produced by eOne and was created by Bert V. Royal. Showrunner Tia Napolitano executive produces alongside Royal and Iron Ocean Productions’ Jessica Biel and Michelle Purple.
“Collaborating with Iron Ocean, our dedicated crew, charismatic cast, and our partners at Freeform and eOne has been the best first showrunning experience I could ask for. I am beyond grateful and excited by the amazing fan response to our show! Continuing to bottle Cruel Summer magic for a Season 2 is an absolute dream come true,” said showrunner Napolitano.
The show is the first scripted series to premiere under Duncan’s tenure since she joined the Disney-owned young adult cabler a year ago. According to Freeform, “Cruel Summer” averaged multiplatform+35 viewership of 6.8 million viewers per episode.
“We are so proud of this show and the incredible cast and crew who brought so much hard work and grit to every single scene,” said Biel and Purple of Iron Ocean Productions. “This wouldn’t have been possible without them and our mastermind showrunner, Tia Napolitano. To be picked up for a second season is a dream and we have so many ideas for where we can take this next. We are excited to get to work with our brilliant team of creatives on this project in addition to our partners at Freeform and eOne, including Jackie Sacerio who brought the project to us. To the audiences who have been tuning into this show week in and week out, THANK YOU!!! This is all for you!”