On Monday, HBO issued a press release basically declaring that Big Little Lies — its seven-part limited series starring — has quietly blossomed into a big-ish hit.
Per the cabler, the well-reviewed dramedy is averaging 7 million viewers across multiple platforms ahead of Sunday’s grand finale. Just as noteworthy, is the buzz that Big Little Lies is generating on social media (Sunday’s penultimate episode was trending on Twitter just behind The Walking Dead) and around the proverbial office water cooler (or in TVLine’s case, our fountain-soda machine). The series has all the makings of a pop culture phenomenon.
And it’s about to get ripped away from us.
Turns out, Big Little Lies is the rare TV project to take its “limited series” label literally, as in there’s very little chance of a second season. Although HBO isn’t officially commenting, multiple sources inside and outside the cable network tell me there are no plans or discussions to follow the privileged Monterey moms played by Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, Shailene Woodley, Laura Dern and Zoë Kravitz beyond this seven-episode run. And it’s a big, not-so-little shame.
Like many TVLine readers, I’m not ready to say goodbye to these tough, mercurial, complex women. Heck, I feel like I’m only now getting to really know them. And while some might argue that Big Little Lies can’t continue because it already exhausted its source material — i.e. the Liane Moriarty novel on which the series was based — allow me to introduce you to The Leftovers. That HBO series similarly burned through its literary inspiration in its first season and yet went on to produce a far superior second season.
And, yes, I realize the A-list trio of Witherspoon, Kidman and Woodley are busy with their film careers, but they have also been effusive about their experience working on Big Little Lies, with Witherspoon calling it “the greatest ensemble” she’s ever collaborated with and Kidman lamenting this week to Vulture, “I was so sad to say good-bye because we all became very, very close.”
No need to say goodbye, Nic. You’re an exec producer on the project. As is Reese. In fact, if the two of you hadn’t optioned the rights to Moriarty’s novel, the miniseries may never have existed. I daresay a second season starts with the two of you. Make it happen.