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Westworld is unlike anything else on TV, and the first season was as confusing and confounding as it was compelling. The hiatus between Seasons 1 and 2 lasted for more than a year, but Westworld finally returned to the airwaves in April. Season 2 is going strong, and HBO has some good news for fans who are still along for the ride. Westworld has already been renewed for Season 3.
The renewal doesn't come as a huge surprise. Although only two episodes of the second season have aired so far, Westworld has been one of the most highly-anticipated and most talked-about shows of the year. The plot is complex enough that fans have plenty to speculate about from week to week and plenty of reasons to invest in the characters, even if it's not always clear what's going on with those characters. That said, the killer ratings from Season 1 were probably also quite motivating for HBO.
The first season of Westworld averaged around 13.2 million viewers per episode across all platforms, according to Variety. Season 1 never hit the same Live+Same day numbers HBO enjoys from Game of Thrones, but delayed viewing along with viewing via streaming saw the ratings continually rise, and the show was breaking ratings records. All the awards recognition probably didn't hurt the show's odds of early renewal either!
The early renewal could be a sign that HBO wants to get the ball rolling on Season 3 as soon as possible. Westworld is an ambitious series with gorgeous visuals, and it takes time, planning, and money for the show to look as good as it does. Getting a head start on Season 3 could theoretically result in a shorter hiatus, which undoubtedly would make fans happy. Sure, Game of Thrones can get away with painfully lengthy hiatuses year in and year out, but Westworld isn't quite as firmly established as must-see-TV as Game of Thrones at this point. A shorter hiatus between Season 2 and Season 3 could guarantee more viewers stick around.
Few shows actually accumulate more viewers with the passage of time, although Game of Thrones again is an exception. All things considered, Game of Thrones could even be a factor in HBO going all-in on Westworld. Only one season of Thrones is left, and HBO will probably want another groundbreaking genre series. Those Game of Thrones spinoffs won't be ready for a while. Westworld could be the future for HBO.
Tune in to HBO on Sundays at 9 p.m. ET for new episodes of Westworld. For more viewing options, take a look at our summer TV premiere schedule. If you're more of a streaming fan, we have a handy 2018 Netflix premiere guide and 2018 Amazon Prime premiere rundown to help you out. For more important dates in the not-too-distant future, check out our breakdown of big TV season finales.