'Cruel Summer' Renewed for Season 2

Cruel Summer
Bill Matlock/Freeform

The mystery continues. Freeform has renewed its latest hit, Cruel Summerfor season 2 ahead of the freshman finale, the network announced Tuesday. 

"Renewing Cruel Summer for a season 2 was an easy decision," Freeform President Tara Duncan said in a statement. "It's the biggest series debut in Freeform’s history and the audience response has been overwhelmingly positive. [Executive producers] Jessica [Biel], Michelle [Purple] and Tia [Napolitano] did a phenomenal job telling an addictive story that’s tapped into the cultural zeitgeist. I’m excited to see where they take the series next.”

"Collaborating with Iron Ocean, our dedicated crew, charismatic cast, and our partners at Freeform and eOne has been the best first showrunning experience I could ask for. I am beyond grateful and excited by the amazing fan response to our show! Continuing to bottle Cruel Summer magic for a season 2 is an absolute dream come true," Napolitano said.

Cruel Summer follows two young women, Kate Wallis (Olivia Holt), the popular girl with a charmed life who one day goes missing, and Jeanette Turner (Chiara Aurelia), the nerdy wannabe who is accused of being connected to Kate’s disappearance. All signs point to Jeanette’s guilt, but is Kate really who she seems to be? Set over three summers in the 1990s and told through shifting points of view, the psychological thriller challenges perception and follows how one girl can go from being a sweet outlier to the most despised person in America.

Tuesday's season finale answers many of the questions introduced throughout the season. Titled "Hostile Witness," Kate and Jeanette's worlds collide as the court date arrives, finally forcing the two young women to answer the question on everyone's mind. But the answer comes with a price that not everyone can pay.

“We are so proud of this show and the incredible cast and crew who brought so much hard work and grit to every single scene. This wouldn’t have been possible without them and our mastermind showrunner, Tia Napolitano. To be picked up for a second season is a dream and we have so many ideas for where we can take this next," Biel and Purple added. "We are excited to get to work with our brilliant team of creatives on this project in addition to our partners at Freeform and eOne, including Jackie Sacerio who brought the project to us. To the audiences who have been tuning into this show week in and week out, THANK YOU!!! This is all for you!"

According to Freeform, Cruel Summer is its most-watched series, ranking as the top new cable drama of 2021 among women. 

The series stars Holt, Aurelia, Michael Landes, Froy Gutierrez, Harley Quinn Smith, Allius Barnes, Blake Lee and Brooklyn Sudano. 

The season finale of Cruel Summer airs Tuesday at 10 p.m. ET/PT on Freeform. For more, watch below.

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