Amazon is going full bore into fantasy in the next year, with both The Lord of the Rings and The Wheel of Time TV series planned for 2020. But before all that, the streaming service has hit the ground running with Carnival Row. Set in an alternate Victorian England where faeries, satyrs, and other magical beings live alongside humans, it stars Cara Delevingne as faerie Vignette Stonemoss and Orlando Bloom as half-human Rycroft Philostrate. It's been a genre hit, with fantasy lovers abuzz about it on Twitter. So will there be a Carnival Row Season 2? Fans can breathe easy.
The story of Carnival Row is a surprisingly long and twisted one. The original script wasn't for a television series at all, but a movie called A Killing on Carnival Row. It was first shopped around in the wake of The Lord of The Ring trilogy success in 2005. But it failed to catch hold until Amazon signed a development deal for the series with director Guillermo del Toro attached.
Ultimately, del Toro stepped away to focus on feature films instead, but the resulting show is still a remarkable visual achievement. And now fans can look forward to a second season.
Amazon is famous for green-lighting multiple seasons at once. The budget to do that is one of the benefits of Amazon Studios. The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, for instance, which was picked up by Amazon at the same time as Carnival Row, was greenlit for two seasons before the first one began filming.
But that wasn't the case here. Carnival Row was only picked up for one season when it began production. Amazon didn't confirm officially that there would be a second season until the first one arrived. Lucky for fans, the official Carnival Row Twitter account announced there would be a Season 2 to follow.
Considering the cliffhanger the series ends on, with the fae confined to camps within The Burgue, and Philo declaring himself one of them, fans need to know what happens next. How will the fae fight for liberation?
So how long will fans have to wait? Unfortunately, it will probably be at least a year before Season 2 comes around. Unlike The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, the writers and producers didn't know if there would be a second season going in. So they couldn't mentally start planning for another season while working on the first one. Moreover, Carnival Row is a complex series with a huge budget, which means that there's a long post-production phase with lots of CGI to get right. Chances are, a second season won't be heading this way on August 30, 2020.
But that's par for the course with many of Amazon's more ambitious series. The Man in the High Castle, for instance, another alternate reality series, is a useful model for comparison. It routinely went 18 months or more between seasons.
If Carnival Row does the same, it could be 2021 before fans see Philo and Vignette again. Until then, Season 1 is streaming on Amazon.