The Beast Must Die will not premiere in the U.S. for a couple of more weeks, but so far, its ratings on BritBox UK overseas have been deemed good enough for a renewal. One of the first original series to be developed by the emerging streaming service, the Jared Harris-led six-parter has "broken records," according to BritBox's press release. (Though in true streamer fashion, no numbers have been released to back up these claims.) But despite the lack of actual public data, fans can at least assume the show did well enough to justify the cost, as BritBox UK has confirmed it is moving ahead with developing The Beast Must Die Season 2.
This move ahead marks another in the growing group of TV shows that begins life as a close-ended limited series based on a novel that has to pivot into something longer running. From HBO series like Big Little Lies to Hulu's continuing The Handmaid's Tale, the trick in every case is to figure out how to keep telling exciting stories set in the same world, whether or not the characters have it in them. In the case of Hulu, Handmaid's Tale has managed to retain its ratings crown. (Nielsen numbers show the premiere of Season 4 was the largest audience the show had garnered to date.) Unfortunately, HBO was not so lucky with Big Little Lies.
But BritBox UK may be in luck here. The streamer hired Gaby Chiappe to write the initial Season 1 adaptation from the 1938 Nicholas Blake novel of the same name. Chiappe is best known for her work writing Vera, one of the most successful "classic British Detective procedural" of the past decade. The new season will feature an original story developed by Chiappe, which will work to pivot the series away from Season 1 headliners Cush Jumbo as Frances Cairnes and Jared Harris as George Rattery and the story of revenge for the hit-and-run death of a child.
Instead, the second season will star Billy Howles (The Serpent), reprising his role of Detective Nigel Strangeways in an all-new case. The new season's story is currently under the working title "A Sword in my Bones." However, no synopsis has been made available yet, and no co-stars for the new mystery were revealed as part of the renewal announcement.
The first season of The Beast Must Die will premiere stateside on AMC+ on Monday, July 5, two weeks after it concludes its U.K. run, with once-a-week episodes to follow. The series will also air weekly on AMC's linear cable channel starting a week later, on Monday, July 12, at 10 p.m. ET. No word if AMC will continue with the second season, though it seems unlikely the network would just let the show go. Getting in on the ground floor of a potentially Vera-like long-running classic would fit into the emerging Brit-centric programming angle AMC seems to be going for since it acquired BBC America and Acorn TV this decade.
No word yet on a release date for The Beast Must Die Season 2, either in the U.K. or the U.S., though it's probably a good bet that the production will aim for the summer of 2022 for both.