HBO’s wildly addicting “Big Little Lies” dominated the Golden Globe nominations on Monday morning, earning the most of any TV show, with six nods. It’s the likely front-runner for best TV movie/limited series, and five of its stars (Nicole Kidman, Reese Witherspoon, Laura Dern, Shailene Woodley and Alexander Skarsgard) earned acting nominations.
Incidentally, as “Big Little Lies” could sweep all of the TV movie/limited series categories, HBO announced on Friday that it is officially confirmed for a second season. In other words, not so “limited” anymore, and now joins the pantheon of shows that should definitely be considered a drama — but it’s practically a cliche to even debate that anymore.
Either way, the huge award show success of the star-studded “Big Little Lies” (it won big at the Emmys, too) certainly helps explain why HBO was so eager to continue a show that was originally conceived as one season. But as the seven episodes started airing in February, word of mouth spread, and millions of viewers tuned in each week to see the drama between the wealthy families in the ritzy seaside community of Monterey, Calif. Based on Liane Moriarty’s best-selling 2014 novel, the series explores the complicated backstories of four different women and their children, and also turns into a mystery about which character dies in the end.
No spoilers here, but let’s just say that the episodes wrapped up with a very satisfying conclusion. So when there were rumblings of a second season, some fans were confused — how could it possibly continue?
However, when it’s a critically acclaimed TV show that is also awards bait, there will always be a way. When the network saw the intense response to the first season, HBO asked Moriarty if she would write a new story that involved all the characters. She wound up delivering a “novella,” and David E. Kelley agreed to write another seven episodes. In an interview with Vulture, HBO programming president Casey Bloys swears that they only agreed to continue the show because the new material is on par with the first season.
“It was done, in my mind, for the right reason. They set a really high bar, and I think everybody involved believes it’s either going to hit that bar and exceed it, or we wouldn’t do it,” he said. “We didn’t start with, ‘We must do this.’ . . . It came from a place of, ‘This is a good group, what can we all do?’ It was really step-by-step.”
According to HBO, the second season will look at “malignancy of lies, the durability of friendships, the fragility of marriage and, of course, the vicious ferocity of sound parenting. Relationships will fray, loyalties will erode … the potential for emotional and bodily injury shall loom.” The Hollywood Reporter confirmed that Kidman and Witherspoon are locked in to return, and the network is in negotiations with the rest of the cast.