Stephen King's The Outsider Is a Bigger Hit for HBO Than Watchmen and True Detective

Stephen King adaptations and HBO series are often major hits with viewers, with the combination of [...]

Stephen King adaptations and HBO series are often major hits with viewers, with the combination of the two for the debut season of The Outsider resulting in the series besting the ratings of both Watchmen and True Detective, according to Variety. Across all platforms, the series earned an average of nine million viewers per episode, besting Watchmen's average of seven million viewers per episode and Season Three of True Detective's average of eight million viewers per episode. Another significant data point is that the series' season finale this past week earned 2.2 million viewers across all platforms, which is a million more viewers than its series premiere, marking the biggest improvement of a series' debut season from its premiere to its finale for HBO.

This 10-episode series follows police detective Ralph Anderson (Ben Mendelsohn), as he sets out to investigate the mutilated body of 11-year-old Frankie Peterson found in the Georgia woods. The mysterious circumstances surrounding this horrifying crime leads Ralph, still grieving the recent death of his own son, to bring in unorthodox private investigator Holly Gibney (Cynthia Erivo), whose uncanny abilities he hopes will help explain the unexplainable.

Jason Bateman starred in the series, while also serving as producer and director of the first two episodes. The filmmaker noted that he drew inspiration from another King adaptation when helming his entries of this season.

"I was trying for Shining in that there's a certain kind of horror that exists in some of Stephen King's books and there's a certain kind of dread in others. This aligned better with the dread, the impending doom of The Shining, the moody, atmospheric kind of stuff," Bateman detailed. "I'm a huge [Stanley] Kubrick fan composition-wise and in terms of lighting, he was a huge inspiration for me."

This season of the series covered all of the ground explored in King's novel, with the author yet to deliver audiences any continued adventures of the narrative. Given this season's success, fans are wondering if we'll get a follow-up adventure, with showrunner Richard Price confirming that he's already begun thinking about what a new season could explore.

"It's like pulling a rabbit out of a glass hat — of course there will be another [if HBO wants one]," Price revealed last month to IndieWire, while also confirming he was working on the subsequent season. "There's no such thing as a series that, if it does well, they're not going to want a second season."

All episodes of The Outsider are now available on HBO.

Are you surprised the series earned such strong ratings? Let us know in the comments below or contact Patrick Cavanaugh directly on Twitter to talk all things horror and Star Wars!