HBO’s Watchmen Is Officially Dead (For Now)

  • HBO’s Watchmen showrunner, Damon Lindelof, says he will likely not be returning for a second season.
  • Lindelof told HBO they can move forward without him should they desire to.
  • It’s likely the series will end indefinitely after just 1 season.

    With Watchmen nominated for more Emmy nominations than any other series this year (26!), fans are likely wondering when HBO’s grounded, layered, superhero/vigilante series will be returning for its next go-around. Well, if you’re wondering that question, we’ve got a bit of bad news: it won’t be back.

    After once teasing a possible second season return, showrunner Damon Lindelof said he will no longer be involved with future production; for now, he’s bowing out.

    Lindelof said simply to USA Today that he’d told the story he wanted to tell. HBO programming chief Casey Bloys also explained some of the possible conditions for a Watchmen return.

    “It’s really in Damon’s thinking about what he wants to do. If there’s an idea that excited him about another season, another installment, maybe like a ‘Fargo,’ ‘True Detective’ (anthology) take on it, or if he wants to do something different altogether. We’re very proud of ‘Watchmen,’ but what I’m most interested in what Damon wants to do.”

    If Lindelof wants to leave the story as is, which seems to be his intention, Bloys conceded that a second season would be unlikely, as “it would be hard to imagine doing it without Damon.”

    Still, Lindelof has given HBO the option of producing more seasons without him.

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    Even several months later, though, it would seem like Lindelof’s mind hasn’t changed. During an interview alongside composers Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross with Rolling Stone, the subject of more episodes comes up at the end, and it seems like the producer’s mind is still fairly set: no more Watchmen. He’s told the story he wants to tell.

    “There’s not going to be a Season 2, we’ve talked about this,” he tells actor Dustin Ingram, who plays Agent Petey in the show (as part of a funny bit). It’s part of a joke, but still—the man’s mind is made.

    And even after emerging victorious to the tune of 11 Emmys (!!), more than any other series, including wins for Lead Actress (Regina King), Supporting Actor (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II), writing for the episode “This Extraordinary Being,” and Outstanding Limited Series, the show seems content to drive off into the sunset.

    Based on Alan Moore’s and Dave Gibbon’s comic of the same name, Watchmen ran for nine wild episodes last year, taking on superhero parody and white supremacy in equal measures. An ambitious, if not at times cumbersome series, Watchmen failed to pick up any Golden Globe nominations. Just like the comics, Watchmen was never going to be for everyone. (But it sure seems like it was for enough people, considering the universal acclaim (95% on Rotten Tomatoes) and, you know, all 26 of those Emmy nominations)

    For now, we’ll have to assume things mostly worked out in Tulsa, Oklahoma after that hail storm of a final episode. The series wrapped up just about every mystery (with a little bit of interpretation along the way). Yet Lindelof conceded on HBO’s Official Watchmen Podcast that it “occurred to me for the very first time that people are going to perceive this as a cliff hanger versus an ending.”

    No matter what, though, Lube Man will live on forever.


    Evan is an associate editor for Men’s Health, with bylines in The New York Times, MTV News, Brooklyn Magazine, and VICE.


    Joshua St Clair is an editorial assistant at Men’s Health Magazine. 

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