Mr. Robot was one of the breakout shows of 2015, earning plenty of awards recognition — including a win as Best Drama Series at this year’s Golden Globe Awards — and making several year-end lists for best TV program. The series is led by Rami Malek as an anti-social cybersecurity engineer and hacker named Elliot who is recruited to join hactivists group Fsociety by a mysterious anarchist known as Mr. Robot, played by recent Golden Globe-winner Christian Slater.
USA Network had so much confidence in the dark, character-driven drama that it renewed it for season 2 ahead of its series premiere in June. Creator Sam Esmail will direct all 10 episodes of the second season, which is slated to premiere in summer 2016. Esmail previously teased the new episodes will explore more of Elliot’s backstory, while following a clearer timeline. He also revealed Tyrell Wellick’s (Martin Wallström) ambitious wife Joanna (Stephanie Corneliussen) will play a more prominent role going forward.
Now comes word that Craig Robinson (The Office) will join the cast of Mr. Robot as a recurring guest star. EW reports the comedic actor will play Ray, “a neighborhood local who reaches out to Elliot in his time of need.” This will be something of a departure for Robinson, who first gained attention as Dundler Mifflin’s warehouse foreman Daryl on NBC’s The Office. He went to star in such films as This is the End, Pineapple Express, Hot Tub Time Machine and last year’s sequel. More recently, he had his own short-lived sitcom on NBC titled Mr. Robinson, and has appeared in several episodes of Brooklyn Nine-Nine.
Robinson joins fellow newcomers Chris Conroy, playing a love interest for Joanna, and rapper Joey Bada$$, who is making his acting debut as another one of Elliot’s neighborhood friends. Michael Cristofer has also been promoted to a series regular for season 2 as Phillip Price, the CEO of Evil Corp., while Grace Gummer (American Horror Story) was previously cast as an FBI agent hired to investigate the Evil Corp hack that occurred in the season 1 finale.
Filming on season 2 officially began Monday on location in New York City. Esmail marked the occasion by tweeting out an early morning photo from the first day on set showing a darkly lit street. An exact premiere date for the new episodes has yet to be announced.
Given its successful first season, Mr. Robot has a lot to live up to in order to avoid a sophomore slump, as all the hype and good word-of-mouth could lead to a ratings increase as it enters its second season. As a reward for helping it land its first prestige drama, USA is giving Esmail freedom to explore his creative vision, so the pressure is on to keep things fresh by adding some new faces, while providing much-needed answers to questions left over from last season.
Mr. Robot season 2 will premiere in summer 2016 on USA.