HBO has announced that it will be renewing Perry Mason for a second season, just a few weeks after the show debuted last month.
— HBO (@HBO) July 22, 2020
Premiering last June 21, Perry Mason is a period drama series that stars Matthew Rhys (The Americans, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood) as the titular character, with support from a stellar cast that includes Juliet Rylance (McMafia), Chris Chalk (Gotham, Homeland), Shea Whigham (Joker, Narcos), Tatiana Maslany (Orphan Black), and John Lithgow (The Crown, Bombshell).
It has only been a month since the Perry Mason series debuted on HBO, but in that time, the show has already proven to be a hit for the entertainment giant.
According to the press release, Perry Mason’s June 21 premiere now holds the distinction of being the most viewed HBO series debut in almost two years. The first episode has now gone on to be watched by a total of 8 million viewers.
The show is based on the Perry Mason books written by Erle Stanley Gardner. In Gardner’s books, Mason is a criminal defense lawyer who not only has to deal with legal cases, but also essentially play the detective role in the books’ mystery-driven plots that often involve murder, kidnappings, missing persons, and sometimes much worse.
Ever since the character first appeared on print in the early 1930s, the attorney-sleuth has since been adapted for various movie and television show versions.
There’s the CBS show Perry Mason that starred Raymond Burr and ran from 1957 to 1966. In the early 1970s, Monte Markham played the title role for The New Perry Mason. Several more TV films would later come out in the late 1980s until the early 1990s.
New version for a new generation
As for HBO’s version, the series is more of an origin story that explores what Perry Mason did before he became known as a defense attorney extraordinaire in his later years.
Set in 1932, Mason works as a private detective who not only has to deal with the ongoing Great Depression, but also with the lingering trauma brought on by his experiences as a soldier who fought in and survived World War I. And oh, he’s also reeling from a failed marriage.
The HBO series’ showrunners include Ron Fitzgerald and Rolin Jones, as well as executive producers Robert Downey Jr, Susan Downey, Amanda Burrell, Joe Horacek, and Timothy Van Patten. Aida Rodgers co-executive produces, while lead star Rhys also handles producing duties.