Networks are not willing to invest a ton of time and money in before every TV premiere, but Cinemax is showing a lot of faith in Robert Kirkman’s new series Outcast. The first season won’t be debuting until June, but Cinemax has already renewed it for a second season. The renewal is definitely good news for fans of Kirkman’s brand of horror, but bad news for the characters who will get even more opportunities for their lives to get worse in true Kirkman style.
Cinemax made the announcement about the renewal at Outcast’s South by Southwest panel (viaTHR). The network made the early call in the belief that viewers will be immediately sucked into the intensity and overall creepiness of Outcast. Considering that AMC managed to do so with The Walking Dead, there’s no reason to believe that Cinemax might not find success, as well.
Of course, given that Outcast won’t be as much of an ensemble show a la The Walking Dead, we can probably count on not watching members of the main cast being killed off a couple of times each season. Instead, Outcast will follow a man named Kyle Barnes who has been plagued by demonic possession for his entire life. As an adult, he’ll embark on a spiritual journey in the hopes of finding answers, but those answers may lead to the end of life on Earth. The series is based on Kirkman’s comic Outcast.
Interestingly, Outcast is coming to the small screen before the plot has gotten overly far in the comics. The first installment was only published back in the summer of 2014. To compare, The Walking Dead was first published in 2003, with the AMC show not premiering until 2010. Outcast will have considerably less comic canon to draw on, which could work in its favor. At the very least, huge plot twists might not be spoiled well ahead of time.
Cinemax was not the only network interested in getting the rights to Outcast. The project was subject of a multi-network bidding war before there was a book on the stands or anything more than a spec script for a show. If Outcast doesn’t deliver for Cinemax, Kirkman’s reputation in the TV world may be less hot. After all, the man has found success with all things zombie thanks to The Walking Dead, Fear the Walking Dead, and even Talking Dead, but demonic possession is a whole new frontier for Kirkman to bring to television.
Outcast is only one of a few new series set to deal with spiritual forces turned evil. AMC recently premiered Damien, which is a thriller following the adult life of the mysterious child/Antichrist of the 1976 classic film The Omen, and Fox is in the process of producing a show based on the 1973 movie The Exorcist. As Outcast will have greater freedom to get truly horrifying thanks to airing on Cinemax, I’m guessing that Kirkman’s venture could be scariest of them all.
Outcast will premiere on June 3 on Cinemax. Check out the first trailer for the series here for a taste of what is to come with Robert Kirkman’s new series.