“Cruel Summer” has been picked up for a second season at Freeform, the network announced Tuesday.
The news comes ahead of the hit show’s Season 1 finale, which airs Tuesday at 10 p.m. ET/PT.
Led by Olivia Holt and Chiara Aurelia, the thriller debuted back in April to record multi-platform viewership for Freeform. According to the network, “Cruel Summer” currently stands as its most-watched series ever, averaging 6.8 million viewers across all platforms, including the linear channel, on demand, the Freeform app and Hulu.
Described as a psychological thriller, “Cruel Summer” centers on Kate Wallis (Holt), the popular girl with a charmed life who one day goes missing, and Jeanette Turner (Aurelia), the nerdy wannabe who is accused of being connected to Kate’s disappearance. Set over three summers and told through shifting points of view, the series challenges perception and follows how one girl can go from being a sweet outlier to the most despised person in America.
Tia Napolitano serves as showrunner and executive producer on the eOne series alongside creator Bert V. Royal and Iron Ocean Productions’ Jessica Biel and Michelle Purple. Michael Landes, Froy Gutierrez, Harley Quinn Smith, Allius Barnes, Blake Lee and Brooklyn Sudano also star.
“Renewing Cruel Summer for a season 2 was an easy decision,” Freeform president Tara Duncan said in a statement. “It’s the biggest series debut in Freeform’s history and the audience response has been overwhelmingly positive. Jessica, Michelle and Tia did a phenomenal job telling an addictive story that’s tapped into the cultural zeitgeist. I’m excited to see where they take the series next.”
“Collaborating with Iron Ocean, our dedicated crew, charismatic cast, and our partners at Freeform and eOne has been the best first showrunning experience I could ask for,” Napolitano said. “I am beyond grateful and excited by the amazing fan response to our show! Continuing to bottle Cruel Summer magic for a Season 2 is an absolute dream come true.”
Biel and Purple added, “We are so proud of this show and the incredible cast and crew who brought so much hard work and grit to every single scene. This wouldn’t have been possible without them and our mastermind showrunner, Tia Napolitano. To be picked up for a second season is a dream and we have so many ideas for where we can take this next. We are excited to get to work with our brilliant team of creatives on this project in addition to our partners at Freeform and eOne, including Jackie Sacerio who brought the project to us. To the audiences who have been tuning into this show week in and week out, THANK YOU!!! This is all for you!”