'The Strain': Carlton Cuse, Guillermo del Toro Reveal Five-Season Plan

The Strain TCA Panel Carlton Cuse Guillermo del Toro - H 2015
AP Images/Invision

The Strain TCA Panel Carlton Cuse Guillermo del Toro - H 2015

The masterminds behind The Strain have the FX thriller entirely mapped out.

When asked at the Television Critics Association press tour Friday how many seasons the creative team had in mind for the vampire horror drama, which is based on Chuck Hogan and Guillermo del Toro’s trilogy of the same name, executive producer and showrunner Carlton Cuse revealed a very specific five-season plan.

“From the very beginning, we had really talked about the first book being the first season, the second book being the next two seasons and the third book the last two seasons. We’ve stuck to that game plan,” he said on stage. 

Earlier Friday, the network announced that the series, which is currently in its second season, has been renewed for a third, set to air next summer. Cuse noted that unlike seasons one and two, which were each 13 episodes, all future seasons will only have 10 episodes. “And then that will be the end,” he added.

Though the Corey Stoll starrer is heavily based on the novels, it manages to take some creative liberties. “There’s a tremendous amount that’s invented in season two, and the same will be true of subsequent seasons,” acknowledged Cuse, who explained there isn’t enough material in the books to fill the 13, or even 10, hours that each season requires. “The books are a springboard to tell this story in a different medium. In the medium of television, the story needs to look different than what’s in the books,” he said.

The uber-producer, who also oversees A&E's Bates Motel and The Returned, admitted that he was drawn to the material because it had a clear beginning, middle and end. “One of the things that was attractive to me about getting involved is that the story did come to a conclusion.”

But could the show move on beyond the books, the way Game of Thrones has done? Not if creator del Toro has any say in the matter. “The way we see it is as a closed tale, and I’d very much like to keep it that way,” he stated.