FX's Shõgun Just Got Some Great News, And I'm Much More Excited About Where Things Are Heading

 Hiroyuki Sanada stands with a look of worry on his face in Shōgun.
Hiroyuki Sanada stands with a look of worry on his face in Shōgun.

Recently I counted myself as one of the many mourning the ending of FX’s Shõgun Season 1. One of the biggest surprise hits on the 2024 TV schedule, it was a beautifully brilliant 10-episode arc that was satisfyingly self contained.

But, of course, successes such as these tempt the powers that be to double down, and whispers of a second season started to swirl. Those rumors have not only been confirmed, but a couple other developments thrown into the mix have turned good news into great news.

Kashigi Omi and Hiroyuki Sanada in Shogun Season 1x10
Kashigi Omi and Hiroyuki Sanada in Shogun Season 1x10

The Great News For FX’s Shōgun

Per a press release straight from FX Networks, Shōgun has actually been renewed for two more seasons, with Hiroyuki Sanada being the only cast member confirmed to return. And if you read my earlier feature about Shōgun Season 2’s potential pitfalls, you’ll remember that I was a bit down on the prospect.

Well, I’ve turned a corner, despite still wanting to see James Clavell’s Asian Saga being adapted in full. And while there's no official green light or production schedule in play, there's still a pretty good reason to get excited. Check out the official announcement, included below:

Hulu and the Estate of James Clavell are working to extend the critically acclaimed global hit drama Shōgun, moving forward to develop the saga with two additional seasons of the drama series. The show’s key creative partners including Co-Creators, Executive Producers and Writers Justin Marks and Rachel Kondo, Executive Producer Michaela Clavell, and series star and producer Hiroyuki Sanada are on board for the development. Production timing has not been locked in, but a writers’ room is being assembled and will begin this summer.

If Justin Marks and Rachel Kondo, the forces that helped finally get Shōgun off the ground, are on board, then so am I. Their work shaping the adventures of John Blackthorne, Lord Yoshii Toranaga and Toda Mariko is part of the secret sauce that made this Hulu subscription driver so beautiful to watch.

And now with this new announcement, my fan-driven brain has gotten to thinking about the exciting potential of two more seasons of Shōgun.; especially since my initial hopes for its ultimate legacy aren't totally counted out.

Anna Sawai in Shōgun.
Anna Sawai in Shōgun.

Why I’m Much More Excited About Shõgun’s Potential Future

This Shōgun news has actually highlighted a concern I didn’t previously stop to think about, thanks to the knowledge of two seasons being on the board. A single season renewal would have been the ultimate gesture of “let’s press our luck and see what happens,” whereas a two season commitment is something bold and confident.

With that news in the mix, it sounds like the writers room being assembled will be able to play a longer game and take bigger swings in the future. What’s more, this is actually a really good idea that potentially sets up the future move into further Asian Saga installments.

In continuing Shōgun’s story, Lord Toranaga’s future exploits could be allowed to develop connections to other epics like Noble House, which eventually tie into James Clavell’s first novel in the series. So even if Justin Marks and Rachel Kondo decide to only stick it out through these two seasons, the foundation for this potential future will be as sound as ever.

Most importantly, I’m glad Kondo and Marks are present because their major concern was outdoing Shōgun Season 1. When I had spoken to them about the back half of episodes, their answer to the Season 2 question was basically that if they could top themselves with a fresh idea that worked, they’d come back. Thoughtful decisions like how they shifted a major Blackthorne moment into Season 1's finale only further prove how mindful they've been about the material, and having their steady hands on the wheel is reassuring as Shōgun moves into uncharted waters.

For the time being, the formation of this writers room sounds like it’s an indication that they have indeed found that bold way forward. That's something that should excite the pre-existing fans sorting their Shōgun feelings and anyone who decides to join after hearing this wondrous news.

No matter which side of that coin you happen to be on, if you’re intrigued to revisit or make your first trip into the world of Shōgun, you can do so rather easily. All 10-episodes of what’s now known as Season 1 are currently streaming on Hulu.