There’s a Strong Chance ‘Shogun’ Will Return for Season 2

There’s a strong chance that FX’s critical darling Shōgun will return for a second season.

Hiroyuki Sanada has signed what sources say is an “if-come” deal that would see the series star and producer return, should FX successfully jump through the multiple hoops required for a second season of the limited series. That means if FX can sort things out behind the scenes and formally greenlight a second season, Sanada would return to the franchise.

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Sources stress there are other extenuating circumstances that FX and CEO John Landgraf are attempting to sort through to pave the way for a renewal. Reps for FX declined comment.

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 James 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 of the FX foray collected 9 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).

Speculation that Shōgun could indeed return for a second season comes as the deadline for Emmy category submissions was May 9. It’s unclear if FX submitted Shōgun in the limited or drama categories. FX also has Ryan Murphy’s anthology Feud: Capote vs. the Swans likely competing in the limited category. The drama field remains wide open after the conclusion of previous winner Succession.

In a February interview with The Hollywood Reporter, 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.”

Justin Marks, in an interview with co-creator Rachel 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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