'Special' Renewed for Season 2 at Netflix

Special Still - Publicity - H 2019
Courtesy of Netflix

This holiday season is a special time of year for Ryan O'Connell.

Netflix has renewed Special, the Emmy-nominated shortform comedy series based on O'Connell's memoir, for a second season.

The semiautobiographical series, exec produced by Big Bang Theory's Jim Parsons, will return for an additional eight episodes. It's unclear if the comedy — which received four Emmy nominations in the shortform categories — will continue to be 15 minutes in length. O'Connell has previously been vocal about wanting to expand to the more traditional half-hour running time, telling The Hollywood Reporter that the reduced length was "frustrating" in that he couldn't explore other characters in the season's storytelling.  

In addition to starring in the comedy about a gay man with mild cerebral palsy who decides to rewrite his own identity, O'Connell wrote and exec produced all eight episodes of season one. Unlike with season one, O'Connell previously told THR that he'd like to open a writers room to expand the scope of a potential sophomore season.

Details on season two — specifically episode length and a writing team — were not immediately available. Netflix declined to comment on those specifics.

Co-stars Jessica Hecht and Punam Patel will return as series regulars for season two.

The series is based on O'Connell's I'm Special: And Other Lies We Tell Ourselves and hails from Warner Horizon Scripted Television and the studio's digital-focused Stage 13 banner. Parsons and his That's Wonderful Productions partner (and husband) Todd Spiewak exec produce alongside the company's Eric Norsoph. Anna Dokoza also exec produces the series, which is produced by Campfire.

O'Connell was nominated for actor in a shortform series, with Special also receiving nods for shortform comedy or drama series, and acting mentions for Hecht and Patel.

The renewal caps a long road to the screen for Special, which landed at Netflix after a four-year process after Parsons and Spiewak raced to option O'Connell's book.