“We will not be continuing work on the second season of ‘Lovecraft Country,'” HBO said in a statement to Deadline. “We are grateful for the dedication and artistry of the talented cast and crew, as well as Misha Green, who created this groundbreaking series. And thank you to the fans for joining us on this journey.”
With its unique blend of horror, fictional drama, real-life historical figures, fantasy, science fiction and social commentary, the empowered “Lovecraft Country” took pop culture by storm in August and helped fuel the social conversation ignited by the death of George Floyd.
Thanks to strong word-of-mouth radio, the series starring Jerney Smollett and Jonathan Majors grew its fan base, and the first season finale garnered its highest audience on HBO (1.5 million viewers) and became the most-watched new episode of the original series on HBO Max on its first day of release. By the time the finale was released in October, the premiere episode had passed the 10 million viewer mark.
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However, the rapturous reception of the first season of “Lovecraft Country,” created, produced and screened by Green and produced by Bad Robot J.J. Abrams and Jordan Peele’s Monkeypaw Productions, did not guarantee an automatic renewal.
This was because the first season was based on Matt Ruff’s book, which served as the roadmap for the series. As HBO has done with other series — particularly “Big Little Lies,” which ended up producing an original second season after the first part, based on Liane Moriarty’s novel — it continued to work on a potential second chapter of “Lovecraft Country.”
“Misha is working with a small team of writers, and they’re coming up with a script,” Casey Bloys, director of content for HBO and HBO Max, told Deadline in February. “In the first season, she had a book to work from. She and the writers wanted to go away and take some time to figure out without a book with these characters, what journey we want to take. We all want to make sure she has a story to tell. That’s where she is right now, working on these ideas. I’m very hopeful, and so is Misha, so we’re giving them time to work.”
Ultimately, after careful consideration, the decision was made not to shoot a second season.
During the “Lovecraft Land” finale in October, Green outlined to Deadline where she wants the series to go. “I envision a second season that will continue the spirit of Matt Ruff’s novel, continuing to reclaim the space of genre storytelling in which people of color are usually left out,” said Green, who co-created another acclaimed series, “Underground” on WGN America, before creating “Lovecraft Country.
UPDATE: After Deadline published the story, Green reacted to the news on Twitter, announcing the release of the second season.
The first 10-episode season of “Lovecraft Country” featured Atticus Freeman (Majors), who, along with his childhood friend Letitia (Smollett) and Uncle George (Courtney B. Vance), embarks on a journey from Chicago to 1950s Jim Crow America in search of his missing father Montrose (Michael Kenneth Williams). Their search and rescue turns into a struggle to survive and overcome both the racist horrors of white America and the monstrous creatures that could have been taken from H.P. Lovecraft’s paperback book.
Lovecraft Country was written and produced by Greene. Peele produced through his company Monkeypaw Productions. Abrams and Ben Stevenson served as executive producers through Bad Robot Productions in association with Warner Bros. Television. Bill Carraro was also an executive producer. Other executive producers included Jan Demange, director of the first episode, and Daniel Sackheim, director of the second and third episodes. David Noller served as executive producer for the first episode of the series.