Shogun Seasons 2 and 3 in the Works at FX, Hulu

It’s official: FX and Hulu are prepping not one but two more seasons of breakout drama Shōgun.

The Disney-owned network said Thursday that it is teaming with the estate of author James Clavell to extend Shōgun for two additional seasons. The company noted that both seasons are in development, meaning that a two-season renewal depends on how the creative comes in.

A writers room is being assembled and will open in the summer to explore a continuation of Shōgun beyond Clavell’s original novel. Shōgun’s creatives, including co-creators, exec producers and writers Justin Marks and Rachel Kondo, exec producer Michaela Clavell as well as star and producer Hiroyuki Sanada are all involved with the development.

Shōgun, which wrapped its season in late April, ranks as FX’s most-watched show ever (based on global hours streamed). The 10-episode first season is available now to binge on Hulu.

The news should come as no surprise after word leaked May 10 that FX was indeed exploring a future beyond what many considered to be a limited series. The leak was timed to the deadline for Emmys submissions to the TV Academy as FX was tasked with determining if Shōgun would compete either as an ongoing drama series or in the limited series categories. Sources say FX did submit Shōgun in the drama categories.

Sanada previously signed what sources described as an “if-come” deal, which would see him return to the franchise should FX successfully develop additional seasons. That means if FX formally greenlights a second (and third) season, Sanada would return to the series.

Shōgun, billed as a limited series, ranks as the most expensive scripted show FX has done in its history. The network spent years developing the series, which is based on Clavell’s 1975 novel of the same name. It’s the second stab at Shōgun, following NBC’s Richard Chamberlain miniseries in 1980. The series debut collected nine million streaming views globally across Hulu, Disney+ and Star+.  Disney said in March that those numbers were the best worldwide debut to date for a general entertainment scripted series (i.e., one that doesn’t fall under the Marvel, Star Wars, Disney Branded TV, Pixar or National Geographic banners).

In a February interview with The Hollywood Reporter, FX CEO John Landgraf said he’d be open to making more pricey programming if Shogun connected.

“It depends on how successful it is and whether there’s an appetite for it,” he said. “Ultimately, the audience gets to decide whether it’s something they want. I would hope if we were able do something like that it wouldn’t take 11 years. So no, I can’t imagine spending another 11 years working on something else but working hard on something to get it right and make it big and detailed as well as really deep in terms of character and the human condition, as long as there’s appetite for that in the viewers, I think it’ll be possible at times to do that kind of work.”

Marks, in an interview alongside co-creator Kondo, told THR after the finale, “I think if we had a story, if we could find a story, we would be open to it. But I don’t think that anyone ever wants to be out over their skis without a roadmap and everything. And it’s also just about, do people want more of it? But it’s also about, not even topping the book, but, how do you even equal the roadmap that Clavell laid out? And I don’t know if it’s possible. I don’t know if Clavell could have done it either. That’s probably why he moved on to other books too, right? He knew what he had done. Yeah, it’s a tough one.”

And Sanada himself echoed that in a recent finale conversation: “We’ve been talking about how the story can continue since we started shooting, but who knows.”

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