January 21, 2020

“Watchmen” Season 2: HBO put Lindelof before ratings

watchmen-season-2-hbo-put-creative-vision-over-demand
Credit: HBO

Damon Lindelof’s stance is clear: Watchmen‘s Season 1 had a beginning, middle, and end. The show’s creator has no compelling idea for a second season, and such honesty is refreshing — even if it annoys fans. The big surprise in this story is that HBO are putting Lindelof’s vision before ratings.

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Watchmen ratings

The series focused on fictional events surrounding racist violence in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and was a massively popular show amongst critics and fans alike. The first episode had 9.6 million total viewers, with an average of 7.1 million viewers across its first seven episodes. The finale had the largest same-day audience of the season, with 1.6 million viewers watching on the day it released.

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Lindelof’s vision

For many fans, the series ended on a cliffhanger (no spoilers), but Lindelof considers Watchmen a complete story, giving HBO his blessings to move on to another creator for a Season 2.

For Lindelof, who created the hugely successful Lost series, pulling out while Watchmen is hot is a smart play. His reputation and standing have increased, if that was possible. On the flip side, HBO pulling out while Watchmen is hot is eye-opening.

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HBO flagging creatives

From a series standpoint, HBO not making a Season 2 of Watchmen makes no sense. For a creatives call-to-action, it’s the bat signal.

“We’re very proud of ‘Watchmen,’ but what I’m most interested in what Damon wants to do.”

HBO programming chief Casey Bloys via USA Today

What show creator wouldn’t want to work for a company that puts their creative vision above all else?

In a competitive streaming market, Watchmen becomes a unique, binge-worthy, 10-episode miniseries. It’s money (or content) in the bank, rather than a show with multiple seasons, each struggling to outdo the last.

At the same time, HBO proves to the world they put creativity first, likely encouraging future generations of creative talent that it’s the place to go with your ideas.

HBO Max was already the streaming platform we were most excited about, and this scenario just puts them on another level altogether.

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