There's going to be plenty more for Perry Mason to investigate on HBO, as the network has just ordered a second season of the acclaimed crime drama. The news comes in the midst of the show's freshman season following its premiere on HBO just over a month ago, with the season one finale set to conclude the show's first eight episodes on Aug. 9. Clearly, the network has been impressed with how the new Perry Mason has been performing on the network after just five episodes in, and the first season didn't even need to reach its conclusion for HBO to pull the trigger on ordering new episodes.
"It has been an exciting journey to work with the immensely talented team behind Perry Mason," HBO Programming's executive vice president, Francesca Orsi, said in a statement. Certainly, the network must be very pleased with the show's strong viewership ratings, which impressively managed to draw 1.7 million viewers for its series premiere -- that's a lot more than Watchmen and The Outsider, and on par with the popular and established sci-fi series Westworld. Fortunately, those remains have continued to remain high in the following episodes as well. "Viewers have relished being transported back in time to 1930's Los Angeles each week, and we are thrilled to welcome the show back for a second season," Orsi adds.
Created by author Erle Stanley Gardner, Perry Mason was first devised as a character in mystery novels, making his debut in print with 1933's The Case of the Velvet Claws. Dozens of other titles featuring the iconic sleuth would follow in the ensuing years, with Gardner penning over 80 books in the series before his death in 1970. Selling 300 million copies, the Perry Mason book series is among the best selling book series of all time, eclipsed only by R. L. Stine's Goosebumps children's book series with 350 million copies sold and J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter series, which has sold 450 million copies.
After a series of movies, Perry Mason was first developed as a television show in 1957. The well-known CBS series featured Raymond Burr as the titular detective with Barbara Hale, William Hopper, and William Talman also starring. The character would later return for The New Perry Mason with Monte Markham taking over in the lead role, followed by a series of television movies with Burr stepping back into the famous part. For the new series on HBO, the beloved character is played by Matthew Rhys, starring alongside John Lithgow and Tatiana Maslany.
The new Perry Mason series was developed and written by Rolin Jones and Ron Fitzgerald. Robert Downey Jr. and wife Susan Downey also executive produce under their Team Downey banner, working alongside Team Downey's Amanda Burrell, Ron Fitzgerald, Joe Horacek, Rolin Jones, and Timothy Van Patten. Rhys also serves as a producer in addition to starring in the lead role, and Aida Rodgers is a co-executive producer. You can watch new episodes on HBO. This news comes to us from Variety.