FX is filled with so many awards-ready dramas that there's a whole category of good-but-under-appreciated shows constantly under threat of cancellation. After finishing its second season, Tyrant returning for Season 3 is unfortunately no guarantee. I don't believe Tyrant is at the same level as other FX shows like The Americans or Fargo, yet — those series both debuted with such a strong sense of what they are, and managed to combine writing, directing, performance, and theme brilliantly, while Tyrant sometimes struggled in its first season to provide a comprehensive point of view on its subject. But, after Season 2, I think there are some hints (to be specific, nine) out there that suggest Tyrant will get a shot at a third season. Update: FX announced, in a press release, that Tyrant is renewed for Season 3 on Oct. 8. Update 2: In another press release, FX announced that Tyrant Season 3 will premiere on July 6.
During the Season 2 finale where — spoilers! — Jamal was assassinated by his daughter in law, the writers must have been salivating at the potential story lines it opened up for Season 3. Barry spent all of Season 2 going from a pointlessly milquetoast American doctor to a character who belongs in a drama about a country in conflict. But, now he's fascinatingly complex, torn between supporting his late brother's disastrous reign and the Caliphate trying to destroy his family's control over the country. And, fortunately for fans of the series and his change in character, there are a good amount of clues that the cast and crew are heading back to work on more episodes.
1. They Have High-Profile Celeb Fans
This kind of A-list endorsement is important!
2. At Least One Star Is Holding Out Hope
Even star Jennifer Finnegan, who plays Molly, is supporting the show from afar right now as she is with her husband, actor Jonathan Silverman, on a trip to Hawaii.
3. Actually, Much Of The Cast Has Been Traveling Recently
Melia Kreiling, or Dahliah, is taking a well-deserved break from falling in love with Barry by going to Niagara Falls. Tyrant Season 2 filmed in Turkey, but if they decided to stay on North America for Season 3, Canada can be a popular choice... though all of that rushing water doesn't really call to mind the Abuddin desert.
4. The Creator Is An Incredible Success
The showrunner and writer Howard Gordon, is remarkably successful. He's kind of like the political drama version of Ryan Murphy, creating 24, Homeland, and now Tyrant. And, even though Tyrant wasn't as initially popular as either of Gordon's other dramas, he has a knack for picking shows that catch on.
5. Stephen King Likes It
Hey, the master of popular horror knows a thing or two about stories that get better as they go along and writing distinct and memorable characters. And, since King has written for publications like EW to express his TV, film, and book opinions, maybe Tyrant is just one Stephen King op-ed away from getting a renewal.
6. Season 2 Really Resonated With Some Fans
Fan support isn't enough to renew a show, but it could be enough to seduce an alternative platform into picking it up. Sure, it doesn't seem like Netflix needs to take it on, but what about Hulu? They already have the first two seasons, and just picked up The Mindy Project after it was cancelled by Fox. It could happen!
7. They Just Wrapped A Little While Ago
Looking at this picture by Jennifer Finnegan, who's been featured in every single episode of Tyrant, it seems that they didn't even finish filming Season 2 until mid-summer, when the show had already started airing. So, FX has at least a few months before they're forced to decide whether or not they want the series back — no snap decisions necessary.
8. Even If It's Axed, It's In Good Company
I know, I know, this is supposed to be a list of reasons why this won't be cancelled. But, even if the series goes the way of Terriers or The Bridge, it's no shame to be among those series. They're good dramas that just never managed to get a strong foothold on the network.
9. The Ratings Are Weirdly Good For This Day And Age
While Tyrant might never become a blockbuster hit, it does have pretty good DVR stats — more people DVR it than watch live, and the ones that do catch up within three days.
With so many amazing shows out there, Tyrant might never become everyone's favorite, but it's popular enough that FX should see it has a fighting chance. And, with its actors all available for more seasons and a creative team invested in making it work, I think it's very possible that Tyrant is going to get its shot at making a third season and finally paying off what the whole series was built around: Seeing Barry embrace his fate and becoming leader of Amuddin.
Image: Kata Vermes/FX (2)