‘Home of the Dragon,’ ‘Rings of Energy,’ ‘Andor’ Followers Face Lengthy Waits for Season 2

“Nice article, however you buried the lede,” a Hollywood Reporter reader lately fumed in an e-mail. “TWO YEARS earlier than season 2 comes out?”

The reader was referring to our latest cowl story on The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Energy, which included a tidbit that dismayed some followers on-line: The showrunners famous they deliberate to work on the sophomore season of the Prime Video fantasy drama for “one other couple years.”

To make certain, Rings of Energy followers probably received’t have to attend a full 24 months to return to Center-earth. However the fantasy sequence nonetheless isn’t prone to return till someday in 2024. Given its seasons are solely eight episodes every, such an extended wait time may appear egregious and stunning.

However followers of HBO’s Home of the Dragon are in the identical boat. The Recreation of Thrones prequel’s debut season simply aired its finale this week, however manufacturing on season two doesn’t begin till early subsequent 12 months. “Don’t count on [season two] in ’23, however I believe someday in ’24,” HBO chief Casey Bloys lately advised Vulture.

The identical goes for Disney+’s newest Star Wars sensation, Andor. “I’ve two extra years to go,” showrunner Tony Gilroy advised The Wrap when requested in regards to the present’s second and last season. “We’ll shoot [season two] from November to August. After which our publish[production] final time was a couple of 12 months.”

Whereas none of those reveals has confirmed a premiere date, it’s clear that epic reveals are more and more making followers wait an epic stretch for brand new episodes. It’s virtually turn out to be the usual for a sure tier of lavishly produced dramas. Whereas many in TV are anticipated to ship a season of content material on an annual foundation, a choose group can gradual their roll (out) to roughly each 16 to 24 months. Such productions often spend as much as 10 months capturing after which take one other 10 months to finish visible results in postproduction.

To make certain, this concept of a two-year hole isn’t fully new. HBO’s The Sopranos famously took two years for its last season again in 2006. Likewise, the special-effects-intensive Westworld has been making followers wait two years between seasons because it launched in 2016.

Nevertheless it was the ultimate season of Recreation of Thrones that appeared to mark a seismic shift. The 2011 fantasy drama’s first seven seasons aired on an annual foundation. Then followers waited two years for the climactic eighth and last season in 2019. Many slammed the ultimate run from a artistic standpoint, however the six episodes seemed like characteristic movies and broke scores information. The season arguably set a brand new commonplace for a way a lot cash, time and effort can go right into a season, in addition to proving {that a} lengthy wait received’t deter followers from coming again to a extremely anticipated present.

But so long as two years for a brand new season sounds, how do you’re feeling about three years? As a result of that’s the period of time followers may be ready for the ultimate season of Stranger Issues, a present that’s expanded its manufacturing urge for food as its seasons have progressed.

The Netflix sci-fi hit took just one 12 months to make season two, then spent two years on season three, after which a took whopping three years to make final summer season’s fourth season — at a reported value of $30 million per episode — that was cut up into two elements (Vol. 1 was launched whereas they completed Vol. 2). “With 9 scripts, over 800 pages, virtually two years of filming, hundreds of visible results photographs and a runtime almost twice the size of any earlier season, Stranger Issues 4 was essentially the most difficult season but,” defined creators Matt and Ross Duffer final summer season.

In August, the Duffers gathered to start writing the present’s fifth and last season, so Stranger Issues probably received’t start capturing till deep into 2023 on the earliest — and won’t air till as late as 2025.

(It’s price noting Stranger Issues season 4 may have been out a bit sooner if not for COVID-19 shutdowns. Pandemic delays slowed the manufacturing of most titles in 2020 and 2021, which is a separate problem from reveals electing to take an extended time resulting from artistic care and particular results — as is the case with the opposite seasons cited right here.)

Additionally, not each present with the Lengthy Wait is an effects-filled epic. Some are titles the place a creator is highly effective sufficient to dictate their very own schedule — resembling FX’s Fargo creator Noah Hawley, Atlanta creator and star Donald Glover, and HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm creator and star Larry David.

The angle of networks towards this pattern appears to be one thing like begrudging acceptance. Requested in regards to the lengthy waits for extra Thrones and Westworld, Bloys as soon as advised THR:  “As reveals get larger and extra sophisticated, I’ve to comply with the producers’ lead and let go of, ‘It’d be good to have it yearly.’ They need to do the perfect present they will do. With larger reveals like Westworld or Recreation of Thrones, generally if you need the massive present and the massive scope, it takes longer.” Whereas Amazon Studios chief Jennifer Salke lately advised Selection she desires “the shortest time attainable” between Rings of Energy seasons and needs to get season two “out into the world as quickly as we will.”

There’s an argument to be made, nonetheless, that at the least some additional padding between seasons isn’t a foul factor. In an period of 500 scripted reveals airing per 12 months and all content material being obtainable in all places, an extended wait may arguably profit a sequence because it offers potential followers extra time to find the present and catch up.

Within the case of Curb, showrunner Jeff Schaffer says it additionally takes the strain off. “One of many issues that I at all times inform myself after we’re writing a brand new season is, ‘Hey, I do know that final season ended very well and folks actually preferred it however, it’s OK. It’s going to be two years earlier than they see it once more. They’ll overlook. And so they’ll simply be so pleased to have us again.’ All you might want to do to be preferred is to go away,” he joked to THR when reflecting on the present’s Emmy consideration.

On the similar time, it’s inconceivable to understate how dramatic this business shift has been. Within the wake of the success of ABC’s Misplaced in 2004, broadcast networks launched a slew of serialized dramas after which would then chunk their nails each time they needed to pause their weekly rollout. With no straightforward approach for viewers to make amends for previous episodes, any break was thought of a high-stakes gamble that might sink a present. In 2012, NBC got here underneath fireplace for letting its postapocalyptic drama Revolution take a breather after airing 10 episodes. Salke was NBC’s leisure president on the time and warranted a reporter, “We consider folks will look forward to it, and we wish to be sure we give Revolution each likelihood attainable to be the hit that we expect it may be.” The size of Revolution’s controversial hiatus? 4 months.

‘Home of the Dragon,’ ‘Rings of Energy,’ ‘Andor’ Followers Face Lengthy Waits for Season 2