Having learned its lesson with Big Little Lies, HBO intentionally never billed The Outsider as a limited series event, leaving the door open for a second season that could extend the narrative beyond Stephen King’s novel. Richard Price had already begun work on the scripts for season two, which seemed inevitable based on the largely positive response to the first installment—and Cynthia Erivo’s portrayal of Holly Gibney, in particular. Unfortunately, Deadline reports that HBO has canceled on The Outsider, which may find new life on another network as production company MRC is shopping the series elsewhere.
Produced by Jason Bateman (who also starred in and directed a couple of episodes), the first season followed Ben Mendelsohn’s Detective Ralph Anderson, who teams up with eccentric private investigator Holly Gibney in the harrowing pursuit of a child killer. Despite all evidence pointing to a local Little League coach and family man (Bateman), it soon emerges that the culprit is a serial killer with paranormal origins. Though the series had wrapped up King’s narrative by the season finale, a post-credits scene teased a potential continuation focused on Erivo’s Holly—a character who first appeared in King’s Mr. Mercedes trilogy and is portrayed by Justine Lupe on that series, which recently became available on Peacock.
Just last month, in an interview covering the various iterations of Holly (who features in her own story in King’s recent If It Bleeds collection), King told Entertainment Weekly that he’d read the scripts for season two of The Outsider, describing them as “really great” with a “spooky paranormal element.”