11:17am PT by Michael O'Connell
HBO Renews 'Perry Mason' for Season 2
HBO is sticking with Perry Mason, renewing the drama for a second season ahead of its freshman finale.
Originally billed as a miniseries, the adaptation of sorts has drawn favorable reviews from critics — and its premiere episode has already reached, per HBO, 8 million viewers.
"It has been an exciting journey to work with the immensely talented team behind Perry Mason," said HBO programming executive vp Francesca Orsi. "Viewers have relished being transported back in time to 1930s Los Angeles each week, and we are thrilled to welcome the show back for a second season."
Mason's arrival coincided with the launch of Warner Media streaming service HBO Max, so there has been no shortage of opportunities to acquaint viewers with the property. Executive produced by Amanda Burrell, Robert Downey Jr., Susan Downey, Ron Fitzgerald, Joe Horacek, Rolin Jones, Timothy Van Patten and star Matthew Rhys, the show had a long road to the air — originally pitched as a feature film vehicle for Downey Jr.
Like the famous Raymond Burr legal drama of the same name, this Perry Mason is based on the character from the Erle Stanley Gardner novels — though it takes place before Mason becomes the defense attorney made familiar by the 1957-66 CBS series. In this Los Angeles noir version, Mason is a low-rent private investigator haunted by his wartime experience in France and suffering from a broken marriage.
The series stars The Americans Emmy winner Rhys as Mason, with Juliet Rylance, Chris Chalk, Shea Whigham, Tatiana Maslany and John Lithgow rounding out the cast.