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Netflix is going back to high school (again).
The streaming giant has renewed the controversial teen drama 13 Reasons Why for a third season, which will consist of another run of 13 episodes and return in 2019. Production will resume later this year.
The core cast, including Dylan Minnette (who plays Clay), Miles Heizer (Alex) and Alisha Boe (Jessica), among others — are all expected to return. Breakout star Katherine Langford, who played Hannah and whose suicide was the focal point of the series, announced after season two dropped that she would not return.
The renewal news comes less than three weeks after the drama returned for its sophomore season, which explored the aftermath of suicide, a lawsuit against the school for its role in Hannah’s suicide, sexual assault and a thwarted school shooting. Netflix was poised to usher in the new season with a glitzy premiere in Los Angeles, but the event was canceled after a gunman opened fire at a Santa Fe High School outside of Houston, killing at least 10 people in the deadliest school shooting since February’s massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, that left 17 dead.
While Netflix (like fellow streamers Amazon and Hulu) does not release viewership information, 13 Reasons Why is said to be one of its most-streamed originals. Season one of the drama from Paramount Television and Anonymous Content was surrounded by a wave of controversy for its graphic depiction of teen suicide. While season two was not as controversial, many viewers and critics alike still found it problematic for a storyline in which a male character is sexually assaulted.
Still, the decision to continue 13 Reasons Why is surprising. Season one focused on Jay Asher’s book of the same name and told a complete story. Netflix renewed the drama for a second season, after the project from Brian Yorkey and executive producers Selena Gomez and Tom McCarthy was considered a one-off limited series. One of multiple series to earn unexpected second seasons after their originally intended short-order runs, 13 Reasons Why joins shows like HBO’s awards magnet Big Little Lies, among others.
“With the second season, we feel as with the first that we’re following the stories of these characters. I always think there’s more story to tell, but I think that depends on viewers and everyone’s reaction to it and whether it’s important to keep telling the story,” showrunner Yorkey told The Hollywood Reporter about his plans for the future of the series ahead of season two. “I do think that our interest in a second season was because we wanted to continue to follow these people. If there is a future for the show, to me, it’s about these characters, and not necessarily a new set of reasons or a new set of tapes. Someone else might do that, but that’s not my job to do that.”
Yorkey will return as showrunner and exec produces alongside Joy Gorman, Mandy Teefey, Kristel Laiblin, McCarthy, Gomez and Steve Golin.
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