The Curse Is Officially Broken: HBO Max Renews Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin for Season 2

TV News Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin
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The Curse Is Officially Broken: HBO Max Renews <i>Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin</i> for Season 2

Even in the wake of the collapse of HBO Max, teen drama is the Final Girl. The streamer has revealed that Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin has been picked up for a second season following its finale on August 18th.

This marks the first Pretty Little Liars spinoff to actually be picked up for a second season, breaking a would-be curse seemingly hanging over the franchise. Despite Pretty Little Liars’ wild success, the first spinoff, 2013’s Ravenswood, was canceled after one season at Freeform. It followed Tyler Blackburn’s Caleb Rivers in the town of Ravenswood, dipping into the more supernatural side of the classic Pretty Little Liars mystery. After the cancellation, Caleb was simply folded back into the original series, with only vague references throughout as Easter Eggs for those that watched. Ironically, the series maintained an average viewership of 1.2 million viewers weekly, numbers that Freeform would certainly not turn their nose up at today, but considered abysmal at the time.

In 2019, Pretty Little Liars: The Perfectionists premiered on Freeform, following the series finale of PLL. It followed Alison DeLaurentis (Sasha Pieterse) as she moved out of Rosewood and started a teaching job at a private school in Washington state, where the horrors that haunted her for years packed up and moved with her. Suffering from a season that contained all mystery and no answers (and soured long-time fans by including an off-screen divorce between Alison and Emily Fields), the show was quickly canceled after its 10-episode first season concluded. Just for comparison, The Perfectionists had an average of just 0.2 million viewers in 2019, a metric that showcases just how much cable TV viewership has changed just within the last ten years.

But the third time’s the charm for Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin. Created by Riverdale’s Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and Chilling Adventures of Sabrina’s Lindsay Calhoon Bring, the series was met with across-the-board praise ahead of its premiere, with Paste handing it an 8.6. The series, while captivating critics, also defied its unusual release schedule to hook viewers as well. Though HBO Max does not disclose their viewership data (as per usual with streaming services), the response online has been enough to create constant buzz for the show, even without new episodes premiering.

It’s clear that Original Sin’s fresh take on classic tropes and swing into the slasher direction made this series stand out from every other attempt at franchising this beloved teen drama. The fact that its overall messaging and season-long storyline was smart and engaging didn’t hurt either, impressing critics and fans alike. This series felt like a welcome return to a world audiences know and love, but different enough to overcome the expectations that follow nostalgia-driven reboots, sequels, and revivals.

This renewal marks another high point in HBO Max’s commitment to its young subscribers, after the renewals of the Gossip Girl reboot and The Sex Lives of College Girls. Even with Discovery attempting to shake things up, it seems that they aren’t yet willing to part with young viewership, and certainly not in the same way they were for viewers of animation.

With the series just renewed, viewers will have to wait until next year for the continuation of Original Sin, giving fans enough time to theorize and speculate about what fresh horrors are yet to come to Millwood.

Anna Govert is an entertainment writer based in middle-of-nowhere Indiana. For any and all thoughts about TV, film, and the wonderful insanity of Riverdale, you can follow her @annagovert.

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