Even before Big Little Lies swept the Emmy awards with 8 wins, including all five it was nominated for on the main telecast, the acclaimed HBO limited series had been gaining steam toward a second installment.
The main obstacle had been the lack of source material as author Liane Moriarty had written the Big Little Lies novel, which the series was based on, as a one-off. That has changed. I hear Moriarty, who had acknowledged that she had been approached by HBO and the producers about a second season, has written a short novella that picks up the story and envisions what happens next with the main characters. I hear David E. Kelley, who adapted Big Little Lies, is looking at the material, mulling a possible take, and everyone is very encouraged.
I hear the actors have not been formally approached yet for a second season but that may happen soon. (Their deals were for the original limited series only but hammering out new pacts is not expected to be a problem as cast members have expressed their desire to come back.) Stars Nicole Kidman, who won an Emmy for Big Little Lies, and Reese Witherspoon, executive produce the series. The core cast includes two other newly-minted Emmy winners, Laura Dern and Alexander Skarsgård.
“I think a second installment, before tonight and after tonight, still depends on Reese, Nicole, David, Laura and everybody being excited about the idea,” said HBO programming president Casey Bloys at HBO’s post-Emmys party Sunday. “The producers are all talking, they seem very excited. I haven’t seen anything yet but I’m hopeful because they are so excited,” he said, declining to elaborate further.
As for Big Little Lies‘ dominating Emmy performance, Bloys said, “I’m not surprised at all because it was a great show. It was smart, it was entertaining, it was well acted and produced I’m not surprised, I’m thrilled.”
Earlier in the night, Jean-Marc Vallee, who won for both limited series directing and best series as an EP on Big Little Lies said, “It would be great to reunite the team to do it.” Added Witherspoon, “We’re talking about it.”
Backstage at the Emmys, Moriarty, who also is a producer on the show, also addressed a possible second season. “I’m thinking about it,” she said. Later, at the HBO party, she told our awards columnist Pete Hammond that seeing Big Little Lies win inspires her “even more to write a follow-up and second season.”
The only limited series category that BLL was not nominated for, lead actor, went to another HBO show, summer 2016’s The Night Of (Riz Ahmed), which also had been conceived as a one-time thing and is now looking to expand beyond that with a second installment.
“I love that he won, he deserved it,” Bloys said of Ahmed. As for a second installment, “Im hopeful,” Bloys said. Exec producer Steven Zaillian “will come to us when he’s ready.”
HBO’s Veep extended its Emmy streaks for best comedy series and best actress in a comedy series wins tonight as the Washington DC comedy starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus is heading into its final season.
“The pitch for the final season is fantastic,” Bloys said. “I’ve heard it, it’s great, they start shooting in a couple of weeks. (As Hammond reported, Veep will likely skip the 2018 Emmy race because it eyes a late premiere.
Bloys would not divulge more about the final chapter but added about Veep, “I think it’s going to go down as a classic.”
In accepting her record sixth consecutive Emmy award for Veep, Dreyfus promised “a final season with a lot of surprises.” “We did have a whole storyline about impeachment, but we abandoned it because we were worried someone else might get to it first,” she quipped.