Looks like the Mutiny will continue!
AMC has ordered a third season of Halt and Catch Fire, TVGuide.com has learned. The show, which averaged less than a million viewers per episode last season, stars Lee Pace, Scoot McNairy, Kerry Bishe and Mackenzie Davis as a group of computer developers in Texas, who, after moving into the online gaming space in Season 2, will relocate to Silicon Valley in Season 3. Co-creators Christopher C. Rogers and Christopher Cantwell have been upped to showrunners in Season 3.
"We are beyond thrilled to have the opportunity to continue telling this story," the showrunners said in a joint statement. "Halt and Catch Fire has been a passion project of ours from day one, and we are so thankful that AMC not only shares this passion, but also continues to champion bold character-driven storytelling in an increasingly crowded television landscape. ... Much in the way that Halt is about underdogs overcoming convention and breaking new ground, the story of Season 3 will endeavor to further stretch the medium and challenge the form."
Although the show received critical acclaim in Season 2 for shifting its narrative focus, its audience didn't see much a boost. Even so, Joel Stillerman, the president of original programming for AMC and SundanceTV, says he's betting on the creative team to go to even greater heights. "It was a creative-driven decision," Stillerman tells TVGuide.com. "We really were incredibly pleased with Season 2, and thought it was a brilliant piece of storytelling. It's always nice when that goes along with monster ratings, but that doesn't always happen. So, we just took a beat, made sure we looked at all the data. ... But there would have been no discussion and no decision if it didn't start with our firm belief that this is a great piece of storytelling with a lot of great story left to tell."
Stillerman says he remains hopeful that the critical buzz will eventually drive viewers to catch up on the show and grow the audience on AMC. (The network has precedent with Breaking Bad, though its ratings were never quite as dire as Halt's.) However, Stillerman insists that ratings aren't always the only factor when making renewal decisions. "Our hope is that the audience would grow and we're going to try to do everything we can to support it, but it's worth noting that we've worked very hard to create an environment where we can say yes to a show that doesn't need massive ratings to sustain itself," he says. "Sure, we'd like a bigger audience, but it's nice to be able to say yes and keep something going that we're passionate about, that critics are passionate about and that the viewers who are watching are passionate about."
Indeed, Stillerman says he was gratified that the show's small viewership was engaged and loyal. "We saw a lot of consistency, albeit with a relatively small number," he says. "We saw a very upscale audience, and we saw a lot of engagement. Those are encouraging signs. There's no question we'd like to build on that, but when you see people who are watching very consistently... that's a very encouraging statistic."
While it stands to reason that eventually the bottom line will win out (then again, The Walking Dead and its recently launched spin-off are printing money for AMC), Stillerman says, for now, no one is looking at Season 3 as Halt and Catch Fire's final season. "We renewed the show in the context of us wanting it to continue for a long time and hopefully to write to its conclusion at some point," he says. "We will revisit those decisions at every appropriate moment. But there's been no direction for them to write to conclusion. On the contrary, our vote of confidence is open-ended and long-term. All we want is another great season of Halt and Catch Fire and a continuation of the story. Everything will be geared toward being able to continue after that."
Season 3 of Halt and Catch Fire will consist of 10 episodes and is expected to air next summer. Are you glad AMC renewed the show?