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Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

HBO isn't sold on a second season of Watchmen without Damon Lindelof... yet

Illustration for article titled HBO isn't sold on a second season of Watchmen without Damon Lindelof... yet
Photo: Mark Hill (HBO)

HBO’s Watchmen provided some of the most compelling television of 2019, delivering a pertinent look at the relationship between race and a broken criminal justice system through one of DC Comic’s biggest properties. For nine episodes Regina King wore the role of Angela Abar—otherwise known as Sister Night—like a glove, leading a near-infallible cast that included Jean Smart, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Jeremy Irons, Louis Gossett Jr., Hong Chau, and a host of other heavy-hitters. The end of the first season opened the door for a maelstrom of possibilities, leaving a very vocal, dedicated fan base to wonder whether or not Angela had inherited the powers of her lover, Mateen’s Cal Abar. And as the theorizing commenced, few considered the possibility of one of HBO’s most popular, critically beloved shows not returning. Because seriously, why on earth would you let this go?


Well, according to a report from USA Today, much of the prestigious network’s continued interest in the comic book drama—you know, aside from a killer story—lies in series creator Damon Lindelof. Per HBO programming chief Casey Bloys: “It’s really in Damon’s thinking about what he wants to do. If there’s an idea that excited him about another season, another installment, maybe like a Fargo, True Detective [anthology] take on it, or if he wants to do something different altogether. We’re very proud of Watchmen, but what I’m most interested in what Damon wants to do.”

And herein lies the potential impasse: USA Today states Lindelof already feels that he has told the story he wants to tell. However, he has “given [his] blessing” to the network to pursue another season with a different writer-producer at the helm. Bloys’ response: “It would be hard to imagine doing it without Damon involved in some way.”

To be clear: HBO has not issue an official cancellation of the unique drama, and “involved in some way” leaves the door open for Lindelof to retain some sort of involvement that could satisfy all involved. While his vision was undoubtedly a reigning element of Watchmen’s success, the show could continue to flourish in the right hands (think Killing Eve, a juggernaut that has maintained its quality despite a carousel of showrunners). Which is why it’s frustrating to see a network hinge so much of its faith on one person despite the many available avenues at its disposal. Also, we’re just really curious to see if Angela is able to walk on that damn pool.