Peter Abernathy at the lab in Westworld Season 1

Between streaming services, cable, network TV, and premium channels, there is a ton of quality programming on television. So each year we can expect a handful of standouts that truly capture our attention. Case in point: HBO's gorgeous sci-fi drama Westworld. With a fascinating storyline and a cast full of A-list movie stars, Westworld managed to become this fall's big hit. And while we'll have to wait till 2018 for Season 2 to finally be upon us, the development for the show's sophomore season seems to be gearing up already. The latest news is all about casting, as a second supporting cast member has been promoted to series regular. And it's not someone you'd expect.

Westworld and HBO has just announced (via Deadline) that actor Louis Herthum has been promoted to series regular for the show's second season. Herthum plays Peter Abernathy, the host "father" of Evan Rachel Wood's Dolores. This is sure to be a shocker for Westworld fans, as Herthum's version of Peter was actually retired and put in storage after the first few episodes of the series, leading to a new host to replace him as Dolores' father.

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This is actually the second casting announcement that has been made for Westworld Season 2. Recurring actress Talulah Riley, who plays host Angela, has also been promoted to a series regular for Season 2. Like Louis Herthum, Riley wasn't actually in all that many episodes of Season 1, making this casting announcement particularly fascinating.

Not only will Peter Abernathy be back, but his role will be expanded enough that the actor got a major promotion. So how exactly does that work out, in regards to the show's plot?

I have to assume that Louis Herthum's Peter Abernathy will come into play due to the events of Season 1's cliffhanger finale. In the final moments of the season, we saw as retired hosts descended upon the shareholder party. The original Peter Abernathy is surely in the ranks of the hosts, and will likely partake in whatever horrifying massacre happens in Season 2's opening moments. With the hosts now able to hurt the living, all hell is about to break loose in the park. That just may include a new life for Peter.

Peter Abernathy was a major role in the first few episodes of Westworld. Upon finding William's old photo of his fiancee in Times Square, Peter's host programming is unable to process the imagery, and begins to short circuit. Eventually he is determined as too far gone, is deactivated, and left in storage. This is one of the first clues that something is awry with the hosts' programming, and that Westworld might not be as secure as it seemed.

It should be interesting to see where Westworld goes in Season 2. Quite a few major characters were killed off in Season One, and we were briefly introduced to the other parks during Maeve's escape attempt. Will Westworld Season 2 actually extend into the other parks? Or will the series remain focused on the utter chaos erupting within Westworld itself? We'll just have to wait and see.

You can currently catch up on Westworld Season 1 through HBO on demand. For a list of this summer's TV premiers, check out our full list here.

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