It’s something of an age of experimentation for purveyors of serialized entertainment. Not only are television networks better leveraging on-demand and Internet-based platforms for distribution, but entities such as Amazon and Netflix are getting in on the competition for viewers.
Netflix has been especially proactive in this regard, hosting both original shows such as House of Cards and the revival of Arrested Development. Now, the first of these streaming-only offerings has earned itself another season; the werewolf mystery-thriller Hemlock Grove has been confirmed to be returning with new episodes next year.
Hemlock Grove’s producers announced via press release that they have inked a deal with Netflix to create and broadcast a second season of the series, set to be “broadcast” in 2014. Executive producer Eli Roth (The Green Inferno) commented:
"The worldwide fan response to Hemlock Grove was phenomenal… Netflix members loved the potent combination of sexy monsters, mystery, and the dark family soap opera that ended with a huge twist, leaving audiences worldwide totally shocked. Season One was just a warm up for what we have in store for season two. Get ready to be scared in ways you never expected."
Hemlock Grove will add producer Charles H. Eglee (The Walking Dead) to its behind-the-camera talent for season 2. The show will continue to star Bill Skarsgård (Anna Karenina), Dougray Scott (Doctor Who), Famke Janssen (The Wolverine), and Landon Liboiron (Terra Nova).
The first season of Hemlock Grove began with the grisly murder of a teenage girl on the outskirts of the titular town. Caught up in the subsequent investigation, reluctant allies Roman Godfrey and Peter Rumancek began to uncover some of the savage secret past of their hometown – as well as share a few secrets of their own. The series’ blood-spattered finale definitely promised even more werewolf-related mayhem to come.
Though the news of Hemlock Grove’s renewal is a great coup for Netflix, one wonders whether the series actually needs a second outing. Despite the enthusiastic praise of producers such as Roth, Hemlock Grove received a lukewarm reception from critics. The first season sports a score of 44 on Metacritic – not exactly a guaranteed stinker, but divisive enough that its quality comes into question.
That said, individual user reviews are far kinder, backed by viewership numbers high enough that Netflix is apparently willing to bankroll another order of episodes. At the very least, the renewal of Hemlock Grove bodes well for the future of Netflix’s distribution model. With properties such as Hemlock Grove, the streaming service is cutting a path toward a new paradigm of television viewership – a paradigm that’s been fascinating to watch emerge.
Hemlock Grove will debut its next season in 2014. Its first run of episodes is currently available for streaming via Netflix.