"Westworld," HBO's latest venture into the sci-fi/fantasy/action/drama, is poised to be picked up for a second season, according to HBO's president of programming Casey Bloys. The first season is currently six episodes through its ten-episode run.

A slow first season

"Westworld" had an exceptional amount of hype entering its debut season, seen as a potential future replacement for the popular "Game of Thrones." Its ratings have largely been all over the place, seeing its most watched program as the third episode "The Stray," instead of its pilot episode, "The Original." The show has topped out at 2.10 million viewers, and bottomed out at 1.49 million viewers to date.

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Critically, the show has been met with a mixed reaction. "Westworld" has A-list movie actors in Evan Rachel Wood, Ed Harris, and Anthony Hopkins. Some critics, however, have found the show to be confusing to follow, although there has been improvement on this aspect over the course of the season. Additionally, the volume of characters makes it hard to keep track of the happenings in the fictional world, and the show relies heavily on previous knowledge of the movie off which the show is based.

A Brief Guide to HBO's 'Westworld' - Speakeasy - WSJ - wsj.com
A Brief Guide to HBO's 'Westworld' - Speakeasy - WSJ - wsj.com

Paths for a second season

"Westworld" has the potential to veer off in a completely different direction if the HBO show is granted a second season. There would likely be a huge amount of turnover of the cast due to most actors' dislike for shooting television and movies at the same time. This would allow the show to create new characters who fit more seamlessly into the world the show is trying to build.

Speaking of the world, the show could choose to go in the direction of a show such as HBO's "True Detective," where each season provides a different anthology altogether.

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The original "Westworld" movie inspired sequels with environments surrounding spas, medieval times, the Ancient Romans, and the dystopian future. Changing the setting of the show could keep it fresh for subsequent seasons.

The next episode of "Westworld," "Trompe L'Oeil," will air on HBO on Sunday, November 13.

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