TV & Movies

Will The Staircase Return For Season 2?

It seems increasingly unlikely.

by Kadin Burnett
Originally Published: 
Colin Firth as Michael Peterson in 'The Staircase'
Photo courtesy of HBO Max

On June 9, HBO Max’s latest true-crime retelling finally reached its conclusion. The Staircase, which dramatizes one of American suburbia’s most chilling tales, culminated in its eighth and final episode. The miniseries tells the story of real-life author Michael Peterson, a North Carolinian father who claimed that the mysterious death of his wife, Kathleen, was purely accidental. However, as details about his wife’s untimely demise began to unfold, authorities came to the conclusion that Michael Peterson was, in fact, responsible for his wife’s death. Even though subsequent legal twists may make it seem like there could be enough material to support another season, audiences probably shouldn’t get their hopes up for a Season 2.

Never say never, but The Staircase getting a second season doesn’t seem like a promising prospect. While we’ll find out for sure sometime after Episode 8’s June 9 release, being that the show is billed as a limited series, it’s more than likely that HBO Max will keep the story contained within the original eight-episode run. It’s worth considering that The Staircase is a true-crime retelling, which means that unlike a purely fictional series, there’s only a finite narrative to work with; it’s not as if the writers or producers can suddenly come up with new ideas to explore in a hypothetical Season 2. HBO titles like The White Lotus and Big Little Lies are evidence that a network can sometimes extend a show past its originally intended run, but neither one of those series’ is based on nonfiction events.

Photo courtesy of HBO Max

Should The Staircase ultimately get a second season, audiences shouldn’t expect to see any more Peterson family drama until next year at the earliest. According to Good To, the miniseries began filming in late spring 2021, only to make it to air in the spring of 2022. This means that the entire first season took roughly one year to put together. If production patterns were to remain the same, one would expect another 12-month timeline for Season 2. One would also imagine that a theoretical second season would debut sometime in 2023, but that would assume production could get everything ready by the end of this year.

Being that the series is based on a true story, a second season probably wouldn’t be able to introduce that many new characters. If the miniseries is rewarded with a sophomore outing, audiences should expect the same main performers to reprise their roles from Season 1. That could mean more Colin Firth as Michael Peterson and the potential for more Toni Collette as Kathleen Peterson in some form or another. Given their performances, we can’t blame fans for holding out hope for a second season of The Staircase.

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