With Game of Thrones off the air for the foreseeable future, maybe not until 2019, HBO has a major scheduling problem: not enough hits, and a whole lot of empty space for scheduling. It's no wonder then that we're seeing True Detective Season 3 materialize, despite the crash and burn of Season 2, and other "prestige" programs like The Deuce getting pushed. But there's one show we haven't heard about lately: when does Westworld Season 2 premiere?
Westworld would seem a no brainer for HBO to be pouring those extra dollars they're saving not promoting Game of Thrones next year. The similarities between the programs are also hard to ignore. Both come from the science fiction fantasy genre, and from best selling authors, though Michael Crichton's original was a movie, not a series of novels. Both run ten episodes a season. Both were heavily promoted with serious money sunk into the world building of the show, and yet both were considered "surprise hits" when they turned up high ratings.
Westworld's ratings were the highest HBO had seen for a new program since the original True Detective, and entertainment sites had to scramble to keep up with the surprise demand for content about it. And, perhaps just as importantly, with Game of Thrones ineligible for this year's 69th Annual Emmy Awards, Westworld has stepped in to pick up the slack, garnering a Thrones-like total of 21 nominations across both the Primetime and Creative Arts awards shows in its first season.
So when is Westworld coming back? Fans were hoping that the first season, which aired during October and November of last year would suggest a second season this coming fall. But that is not to be. Instead, HBO is hoping that The Deuce catches on instead. Westworld is being held over and will not be coming to screens this year at all.
As was revealed back in July at San Diego Comic Con (SDCC), HBO is planning on airing it in Spring of 2018 -- perhaps in fact in the old Game of Thrones slot, the mid-April to Mid-June section of the schedule. With Thrones only having six more episodes before it's all over, and only untested spin offs to perhaps fill those shoes a few years after, putting a solid shower like Westworld in that position would make the most sense.
It also would guarantee it air in the pole position for Emmy voters for next year as well. (The mid-April slot means the finale airs just before the Emmy voting for nominations closes, and is seen as a way to be the last impression voters have before they submit.)
Production on the second season only just began in July, which is why the first trailer we have sadly doesn't give us much -- just a whole lot of blood.
We do think we have a title for the first episode of the second season though. Ahead of the comic con panel, HBO updated their fan site for the show, called Discover Westworld, with the following gif loop:
Who exactly is loading the program that overrides the old site is not clear, but the program name it loads is "Journey Into Night," which fans have taken to be the title for the second season premiere. Unlike Thrones, spoiler culture hasn't embraced Westworld so tightly, so things like episodes titles are much freer to be released ahead of time.
As for who is returning, at SDCC, the showrunners, Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy, said to assume nothing. Just because Ford (Anthony Hopkins) has been shot dead doesn't mean he's not coming back in some way. If that's true then we assume that our other favorites, from Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood) and Maeve (Thandie Newton), to Teddy (James Marsden) and Bernard (Jeffrey Wright) are all coming back, no matter who might have shot who. We can't wait.