7:00am PT by Lesley Goldberg
'The Society' Renewed for Season 2 at Netflix
Netflix is returning to The Society.
The streaming giant has renewed the YA-focused Lord of the Flies-like drama series for a second season.
Created by Chris Keyser and starring Kathryn Newton, the series revolves around a group of teens who are forced to take matters into their own hands when they return from a school trip to discover that all the adults are missing and there is no way out of town. Season two will return in 2020; production will resume later this year.
The series launched its 10-episode season May 10 to promising reviews. The Hollywood Reporter's chief TV critic Daniel Fienberg said in his review that the series is "occasionally thoughtful and perceptive" and "builds moral quandaries and tension well." The Society currently has an 83 percent rating among critics and 73 percent among viewers on RottenTomatoes.com.
While Netflix, like other streamers, does not release viewership data, sources tell THR that the series was a strong performer internationally, which helped secure a second season after a soft U.S. performance. (Netflix's YA favorite 13 Reasons Why also performs well internationally.)
"[S]eason [one] deals a lot with men versus women, and it deals only briefly with race, but I think you can expect that conversation about class and race to keep coming up," Keyser told THR about his larger focus for The Society. "All these things need to be re-litigated in a world in which there are no givens. We hope, over time, and if we’re lucky enough to get a season two, to explore all the social contract questions that we take for granted."
Newton (Blockers, Big Little Lies) leads a cast that includes Sean Berdy, Natasha Liu Bordizzo, Jacques Colimon, Olivia DeJonge and Alex Fitzalan, with Grace Victoria Cox (Heathers) poised to have a greater role when season two returns. Marc Webb exec produces the series alongside Keyser.
The Society is one of multiple series in the works for Keyser, who also has Freeform's rebooted take on Party of Five and a couple other projects in the works. Keyser has been the key negotiator for the Writers Guild in its battle against agencies over packaging fees and affiliated studios. One of Keyser's projects — drama State of Affairs — is currently in the marketplace as a package from WME's affiliated studio, Endeavor Content.