Hulu’s senior vice president and head of content, Craig Erwich, has some frighteningly good news for CASTLE ROCK fans, as it’s been announced that the show has been picked up for a second season on the subscription-based streamer. In addition to the renewal, Erwich has also revealed that big plans are in motion for the sophomore season of the anthology-style show based on the popular works of best selling author Stephen King.
Hot on the heels of promoting the second season, Erwich told Variety that “It was a deeply original idea from two of the world’s greatest storytellers, and it was centered around something that’s been beloved and familiar to many of Stephen King’s legion of fans, which is the town of Castle Rock. So expectations were high to begin with, but it exceeded them,” he says. “The reaction from the variety of audiences has been overwhelming and it seems to be one of the most talked about shows of the summer.”
While striking it rich with audiences is nothing new for Hulu, CASTLE ROCK’s anthology-style format is considered by many to be new territory for the service, who in the past has experienced tremendous success with an impressive library of more straight-forward, episodic content.
“Quite frankly it’s less about a strategy around anthologies and more about, that’s what this story demanded to be,” Erwich told Variety. “The beauty of Hulu is that we’re not tied to any kind of shape or form. The creative can live in its best version, and the best version of ‘Castle Rock’ was this.”
When looking at the numbers for CASTLE ROCK, one would find that the psychological horror series has been a major earner for the streamer, with reports showing that the program is so far the most successful first season debut for a Hulu Original (in terms of reach). Furthermore, CASTLE ROCK stands among the highest completion rates for an original Hulu presentation within the first two weeks of release. To that end, Hulu has also noted that the social media outreach for CASTLE ROCK has been incredible, with many King fans and beyond flocking to platforms like Twitter and Facebook to share their thoughts and theories about the show.
“By all measures, audience, critical, and social response the show has been one of the breakout hits of the summer in television,” Erwich says.
While speaking about the success of CASTLE ROCK, Erwich also noted that Hulu has seen an increase in watch counts for King-related content, such as the 2016 series 11.22.63 and the original mini-series based on Stephen King’s IT starring Tim Curry as Pennywise the Dancing Clown.
“We have the ability to create a whole Stephen King experience,” Erwich said. “I think [that] will accumulate over time.”
As a psychological-horror series set in the Stephen King multiverse, CASTLE ROCK combines the mythological scale and intimate character storytelling of King’s beloved works, creating an epic saga of darkness and light, played out on a few square miles of Maine woodland. The fictional Maine town of Castle Rock has figured prominently in King’s literary career: Cujo, The Dark Half, IT and Needful Things, as well as novella The Body and numerous short stories such as Rita Hayworth and The Shawshank Redemption are either set there or contain references to Castle Rock. Created by Sam Shaw (MASTERS OF SEX) and Dustin Thomason (LIE TO ME), CASTLE ROCK is orchestrated by an ensemble of noteworthy directors and writers.
Lastly, while Erwich confirmed that Hulu’s partnership with King will continue throughout the making of Season 2, he does not expect the author to take on any additional roles for the follow-up effort.
Have you been enjoying CASTLE ROCK? Are you excited by the prospect of there being a second season? What characters would you like to see appear in the strange tales set in King’s fictional locale? Let us know in the comments section below.