USA Network delivered a pleasant surprise for fans of The Sinner this weekend by announcing that the series, the sleeper hit of last summer, will live to see another season. The crime thriller starring Jessica Biel and Bill Pullman drew nearly 4 million viewers each week and snagged the top spot on its night in total viewers.
In addition to consistently garnering a solid viewership, The Sinner was critically well received. It earned 8 out of 10 stars based on more than 26,000 user reviews on IMDb, and it scored an impressive 94 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. The biggest issue fans and critics seem to have with the series was that it was originally billed as a self-contained story — a miniseries, essentially. As problems go for TV shows, having fans be outraged because they want more is probably a pretty good one to have, eh?
After the incredible finale, rumors began to circulate that perhaps the network would find a way to bring the show back for a second season. However, the buzz was largely hearsay... until now.
According to TVLine, USA decided to move forward and has a second season already in the works. There's just one snag: as of right now, it does not look like Biel will return as series regular Cora Tannetti. While the network declined to confirm with all certainty that Biel would not reprise her role, they did note that she would remain on as an executive producer. So, there's that.
Instead of continuing Cora's story, The Sinner will focus on a new case, the murder of an 11-year-old boy — a case being described as "unsettling and heart-wrenching." The logline for the second season reads, "As Ambrose realizes there's nothing ordinary about the boy or where he came from, the investigation pulls him into the hidden darkness of his hometown."
If fans learned anything from watching the first season, it's that Pullman's Detective Ambrose has hidden darkness aplenty to overcome. Season 2 could offer more insight into his fractured psyche as well as introduce a complex new character.
"He's pitted against those who'll stop at nothing to protect its secrets," the logline continues, "and a mysterious woman who proves to be a complicated, enigmatic piece to this haunting puzzle."
While the first season was based on (and told the entire story of) a book by Petra Hammesfahr, it's not as though The Sinner will be reinventing the wheel by furthering the series with fresh material. Big Little Lies, for instance, opted to create a second season following outcry from fans over the popular series' end. Also based on a book, Big Little Lies will work with author Liane Moriarty to help shape the show's direction moving forward.
It remains to be seen whether The Sinner will look to Hammesfahr for creative guidance but, either way, fans can celebrate that there will now be a Season 2. And even if Biel doesn't star (fingers crossed for a cameo!), the fact that she'll still be there behind the scenes suggests that the show will once again surpass expectations.
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