Stephen King Still Thinks The Outsider Deserved a Season 2 at HBO

HBO cancelled the Stephen King adaptation after just one season.

It's been nearly four years since HBO cancelled The Outsider after just one season, but many feel that the series deserved more — and so does author Stephen King. On social media, King, who wrote the novel the series was adapted from, agreed with author Lindwood Barclay who praised the series writing himself that the series deserved a second season with a simple, "Yes. It did." You can check out the exchange for yourself below.

King's novel, The Outsider, was published in 2018 with HBO's adaptation debuting in 2020. The series followed police detective Ralph Anderson (Ben Mendelsohn) as he set out to investigate the mutilated body of 11-year-old Frankie Peterson found in the Georgia woods. The mysterious circumstances surrounding the horrifying and disturbing crime leads Ralph, who is still grieving the recent death of his own son, to bring in the unorthodox private investigator Holly Gibney (Cynthia Erivo) to assist with the investigation, whose uncanny abilities he hopes will help explain the unexplainable.  The series also starred Bill Camp, Paddy Considine, and Jason Bateman and ran for 10 episodes before being canceled by HBO.

The series was a strong performer for HBO. At the time, The Outsider averaged better than 9 million viewers per episode across all platforms according to the network and its finale brought in 1.37 million people watching it live. Replays and streaming numbers brought that to 2.2 million — numbers that made it a stronger performer than Watchmen or Lovecraft Country. When the series was cancelled by HBO, CEO Casey Bloys said at the time that the reason was that they didn't feel like they had additional story to tell that would live up to the series' first season.

"We try to approach everything as if there's going to be Season 2. It's always hard," Bloys said at the time. "And it's always a challenge when you have something that is based on a book and obviously with The Outsider, you've got a great roadmap. So, if you're going to go and do more without that, you got to make really sure there's a story to tell. We just didn't feel like we landed on a story that would live up to the first season."

Other Stephen King Adaptations Are in The Works

While The Outsider didn't get more than one season, other adaptations of the King's novels are in the works. It was recently reported that Glen Powell is in talks to star in Edgar Wright's The Running Man, based on a science fiction story by King written under the pseudonym Richard Bachman. It was also recently reported that production on an adaptation of The Monkey, starring Tatiana Maslany and Elijah Wood, has finished filming. That film will follow twin brothers Hal and Bill who, when they discover their father's old monkey toy in the attic, a series of gruesome deaths starts occurring all around them. The brothers decide to throw the monkey away and move on with their lives, growing apart over the years. But when the mysterious deaths begin again, the brothers must reunite to find a way to destroy the monkey for good before it takes the lives of everyone close to themThe Monkey was originally published in Gallery magazine in 1980, before being revised and reprinted in the 1985 collection Skeleton Crew.