'The Flight Attendant' Renewed for Season 2 at HBO Max

The Flight Attendant - Kaley Cuoco-Publicity still - H 2020
HBO Max

HBO Max is fastening its seat belts (and, presumably, returning tray tables to their full upright and locked positions) for more of The Flight Attendant. The streamer's darkly comic mystery, starring Kaley Cuoco, has been picked up for a second season.

Sure, the eight-episode run was billed as "one and done," — but the thriller has been a critical and, apparently, a commercial success for the young streamer. The creative team also hasn't been coy about the desire to revisit the material if given the chance. "Hey, everything's a limited series," Cuoco, executive producer of the series under her Yes, Norman Productions banner, told THR ahead of the launch. "If you don't get picked up, you go, 'Oh, that was just a limited series.' If you do get picked up, you're like, 'Yeah, fuck that. We're doing season two!'"

Season two will explore new territory for the series, with its first season completing its adaptation of source material — a novel of the same name by Chris Bohjalian. HBO Max dropped the finale on Thursday, completing a staggered roll-out that began on Nov. 26. Warner Media has called the series, also executive produced by showrunner Steve Yockey and Berlanti Productions' Greg Berlanti and Sarah Schechter  its most successful original series launch to-date — citing a 55 percent jump in audience between the first and second drops of episodes.

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“We are delighted that the show has resonated so strongly with audiences and critics," said HBO Max and HBO chief content officer Casey Bloys. "We congratulate Kaley, Steve, Greg and Sarah, along with the rest of the incredibly talented cast, executive producers and our partners at Warner Bros. Television on all the success of the first season. I look forward to seeing where Cassie will go next.”

The story of an alcoholic flight attendant who wakes up in the wrong hotel, in the wrong bed, with a dead man and zero recollection of how she got there, Cuoco was joined in the first season by Michiel Huisman, Rosie Perez, Zosia Mamet, Michelle Gomez and T.R. Knight. “To say that I am elated would be an understatement," said Cuoco. "The positive response to our show has surpassed all of our expectations and I’m so proud of the entire team behind its success. I’m thrilled to continue my partnership with Team Berlanti, Steve Yockey, HBO Max and of course my beloved studio, Warner Bros. I have amazing partners in Suzanne McCormack and Mackenzie Shade at Yes, Norman Prods., where we are committed to delivering diverse and quality entertainment, including an exciting (and probably a little crazy) TFA season 2!!”

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An auspicious move for Cuoco's budding production efforts, as well as her post-Big Bang Theory acting career, The Flight Attendant is especially good news for HBO Max as it fights to establish an identity in the streaming landscape with a significant library and, thus far, more modest original offerings. The warm critical reception to the series should also see it become part of the 2021 awards narrative — particularly in relation to Cuoco's performance, which THR chief TV critic Daniel Fienberg called "a star turn." 

As for where the show goes from here, Cuoco just recently spoke about hypotheticals with THR podcast TV's Top 5. Naturally, she has more questions than answers. "We would, in a perfect world, shoot this time [of year] in 2021 so the world could calm down," said Cuco. "I'd like to keep it COVID-free. As far as anything specific, it would be Cassie trying to live a sober life, which won't happen. The trauma she dealt with 30 years won't go away overnight. What did she learn? Is she a human asset? What's her flight attendant life?"

All eight episodes of The Flight Attendant are currently streaming.