When the original Good Omens limited series arrived on Prime Video back in May 2019, it was a triumph for author Neil Gaiman, who was badly in need of one. His first prestige TV adaptation, American Gods, was sinking at Starz under the weight of disastrous behind-the-scenes upheaval. His hopes for The Sandman at HBO had been dashed when they passed it over as too expensive; Netflix had picked it up, but the show was basically still mired in development hell. But the largely faithful, and surprisingly adept translation of one of his most popular stand-alone stories, written with the late Terry Pratchett, was a breakthrough hit on Prime, a streaming service whose marketing track record was super hit and miss.
That being said, the story was just that, a stand-alone, and the adaptation one that ended with the novel, making a second season highly doubtful. However, given two years and a pandemic, it turned out the impossible wasn't so unfeasible. In June 2021, Amazon and the BBC announced Good Omens 2 would be forthcoming, with most of the cast back for another round... somehow.
At New York Comic-Con 2022, fans got a first look at some of that somehow, and how it came together. Gaiman told the assembled crowd he'd basically hit upon the follow up around the time the first season debuted. He sold the idea to co-showrunner and series director Douglas Mackinnon, executive producer Rob Wilkins, who the team treats as Terry Pratchett's official stand-in, and Amazon and the BBC suits that summer. However, he didn't buckle down and write it until a full year on, trapped by the pandemic, he said it just poured out of him.
Having both Michael Sheen and David Tennant on board to return as Aziraphale and Crowley was a must. However, Gaiman wanted to keep others from the original cast. Jon Hamm would remain as Gabriel, but he also wanted Nina Sosanya and Maggie Service (Sisters Mary Loquacious and Theresa Garrulous, respectively). Sadly, their nun characters were done, so he created two new ones, which he named Nina and Maggie, so that when reading, Mackinnon and Wilkins would picture these actors in the roles, ensuring no one else would be cast instead. (The actresses were tickled by it, and when he offered to change the names once they’d secured their parts, they said no.) Gaiman also wrote Miranda Richardson a new role; she’ll go from playing Madame Tracy to playing a new demon who replaced Crowley after he was sacked.
The panel revealed photos of both Maggie (the character), who runs a record shop next door to Aziraphale’s bookshop, and Nina (the character), who manages the coffee shop across the road, called “Give Me Coffee Or Give Me Death.” It also dropped a picture of Richardson’s new demon and a new angel named Muriel, played by Quelin Sepulveda. Muriel, Gaiman admitted, was an addition because he realized all the angels (other than Aziraphale) were complete bastards, and that seemed wrong; heaven should have a few nice ones, even if they are a touch gullible. Other additions will include Donna Preston (Despair in The Sandman) joining the cast as Mrs. Sandwich and a new Beezlebub, a necessary recasting because Anna Maxwell Martin was already booked and busy.
Gaiman and Mckinnon promised Michael Sheen would be zooming in, live, at the end of the panel to take questions. By live, they meant pretaped, and by “zooming in,” they meant a video where Sheen, Tennant, and Hamm all zoomed with each other; calamitous hilarity ensued, and the edited results played.
There’s no synopsis for the new Good Omens season. When asked what it is about, Gaiman replied, “about 45 minutes an episode, six in all.” He did mention the series would be visiting both Heaven and Hell, and that viewers would learn more about Jane Austen than they thought possible, a challenge I do not take lightly.
Other returning stars for Good Omens 2 include Doon Mackichan as Michael, Gloria Obianyo as Uriel, and Derek Jacobi as Metatron. New cast members include Liz Carr as Saraquael, plus Tim Downie (Outlander), Pete Firman (The Magicians), Andi Osho (I May Destroy You), and Alex Norton (Pirates of the Caribbean).
Good Omens 2 is confirmed to arrive with six episodes on Prime Video sometime in the summer of 2023.