HBO renews ‘Westworld’ for a second season, but it likely won’t air till 2018

Westworld, HBO’s sci-fi-meets-Western mashup, will return for a second season, as will two of its newest half-hour comedies, Insecure and Divorce, the premium cable channel confirmed on Monday.

The news of a second season of Westworld is unsurprising, given just how popular the show has become in such a short time — only seven episodes have aired to date. The internet abounds with podcasts, subreddits, message boards, and fan-related social media accounts all dedicated to dissecting the show and theorizing on its mystery-filled plot. According to HBO, Westworld has drawn an even larger viewership during its first season than even Game of Thrones or True Detective did in their debut seasons, reaching an average audience of 11.7 million viewers. With numbers like that, it’s no wonder fans will be getting a second season.

Despite the show’s impressive viewership numbers, Westworld fans will have wait a bit longer than usual to see the next season of the show. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Casey Bloys, HBO’s programming president, said that, because of its scope, a new season of Westworld would likely take showrunners Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy longer than usual to script and film, and that it’s probable the new season would not make it to air in 2017. The longer wait will give fans some extra time to continue digging and theorizing about what’s to come. Some of the shows earliest mysteries have already begun to pay off.

Given that HBO’s incarnation of Westworld has deviated from and expanded upon the original 1973 Michael Crichton film of the same name,  it’s hard to say just what may come next, but hearing that the showrunners are going to be taking extra time to ensure the follow-up season has an epic scope is exciting.

Westworld airs at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Sundays on HBO.

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