Photo Credit: George Kraychyk/Hulu
Hulu has renewed The Handmaid's Tale for a third season, it announced Wednesday, just a week into its second season. The Elisabeth Moss-starring dystopian drama, based on Margaret Atwood's 1985 classic novel of the same name, is set in the near-future where a totalitarian militaristic government based on traditional Christian values has taken control of the US, and forces fertile women into child-bearing servitude in the name of declining fertility rates brought on by environmental pollution and other factors.
The Handmaid's Tale was a terrific success in its first season last year, winning eight Emmys including Best Drama, Best Actress (Moss), Best Writing (Bruce Miller), Best Directing (Reed Morano), Best Supporting Actress (Ann Dowd), and Best Guest Actress (Alexis Bledel) among others. The Hulu series also picked up Best Drama and Best Actress at the 2018 Golden Globes, and was nominated in multiple end-of-the-year critics' lists including ours.
Currently in its second season, which began last week of April and will go on for slightly-longer 13-episode run till the second week of July, The Handmaid's Tale continues to be a powerful show thanks to tour de force work from its ensemble, and the creative team's mastery of visual language that makes it one of the best-looking shows on air. In our review of the show, this critic said the new season offers a "blessedly unflinching" look at the horrors of Gilead.
For Hulu, a third-season nod is obvious, what with The Handmaid's Tale being its flagship series. It's just one of two dramas – the other being Marvel's Runaways – that are ongoing at the network, with Hulu having cancelled others or having ended themselves, including East Los High, The Path, Chance, and Shut Eye. Hulu is yet to decide on Freakish, which aired in October but has yet to be renewed.
It does have more dramas on the way: Castle Rock, based on Stephen King's stories and which counts J.J. Abrams as an executive producer; Catch-22 from George Clooney; The First from Beau Willimon and starring Sean Penn; and Little Fires Everywhere from Reese Witherspoon and Kerry Washington, based on the acclaimed novel of the same name.
Alongside The Handmaid's Tale announcement, Hulu said it had greenlit a limited series called Four Weddings and a Funeral, from Mindy Kaling and Matt Warburton, inspired by the 1994 British rom-com; and a comedy Ramy, based on experiences of comedian Ramy Youssef; a horror event series Into The Dark from Blumhouse Television. Hulu also said it now has over 20 million subscribers in the US.