HBO has renewed its emotional supernatural drama The Leftovers for a third and final season. The programme, based on the 2011 Tom Perrotta novel of the same name, follows a select group of people struggling to cope after 2 percent of the world’s population vanishes without explanation, an event seen by many as the biblical Rapture.
The series earned divisive reviews in its first season for its melancholy tone and ambiguous plotting, but the second season has seen critical acclaim, with many critics labelling it as one of the best shows of the year. Developed by Academy Award nominee and author of the original novel Tom Perrotta (Little Children, Election) and Primetime Emmy Award winner Damon Lindelof (Lost, Prometheus), the show aired its second season finale a few days ago (December 6).
The show’s ratings dropped substantially between seasons one and two, but this isn’t the first time HBO has allowed a low performing drama to have a final season despite bad numbers. Divisive journalism drama The Newsroom scored a third and final season of six episodes last year, so it’ll be interesting to see whether HBO gives the same small episode number to The Leftovers last bow.
“It is with great enthusiasm that we welcome back Damon Lindelof, Tom Perrotta and the extraordinary talent behind The Leftovers for its third and final season,” said Michael Lombardo, the president of HBO programming in a statement. “This show has proven to be one of the most distinctive HBO series and we are extremely proud of its unrivaled originality, which has resulted in such a passionate following by our HBO viewers. We admire and fully support Damon’s artistic vision and respect his decision to bring the show to its conclusion next season.”
“I have never, ever experienced the level of creative support and trust that I have received from HBO during the last two seasons of The Leftovers,” added co-creator Damon Lindelof. “Tom, myself and our incredible team of writers and producers put tremendous care into designing those seasons as novels unto themselves… with beginnings, middles and ends. As we finished our most recent season, it became clear to us that the series as a whole was following the same model… and with our beginning and middle complete, the most exciting thing for us as storytellers would be to bring The Leftovers to a definitive end. And by ‘definitive,’ we mean ‘wildly ambiguous but hopefully mega-emotional,’ as all things related to this show are destined to be.”
“On behalf of our incredible crew and superb cast, we are all tremendously grateful that HBO is giving us an opportunity to conclude the show on our own terms… an opportunity like this one rarely comes along, and we have every intention of living up to it. One more thing. We are blessed by the unwavering support of our fans and the incredibly powerful voice of the critical community. We feel absolutely privileged to heat up one last helping of leftovers.”
Season 2 of The Leftovers starred Justin Theroux (American Psycho, Inland Empire), three-time Golden Globe Award nominee Amy Brenneman (Private Practice, Judging Amy), Christopher Eccleston (Doctor Who, Thor: The Dark World), Liv Tyler (The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, The Incredible Hulk), Chris Zylka (The Amazing Spider Man, Piranha 3DD), Margaret Qualley (The Nice Guys, Palo Alto), Carrie Coon (Gone Girl, Law and Order: Special Victims Unit), Ann Dowd (True Detective, Marley and Me), two-time Primetime Emmy Award nominee Janel Moloney (The West Wing, The Blacklist), Golden Globe Award nominee Regina King (Ray, Enemy of the State), Kevin Carroll (Being John Malkovich, Paid in Full) and Jovan Adepo (The Youth, Blood Relatives).