Netflix's blink-and-you-missed-it 'Hemlock Grove' to return

Netflix greenlights a shorter second season of the supernatural horror thriller that flew under the radar, sandwiched between the hyper-hyped "Arrested Development" and critical darling "House of Cards."

Joan E. Solsman Former Senior Reporter
Joan E. Solsman was CNET's senior media reporter, covering the intersection of entertainment and technology. She's reported from locations spanning from Disneyland to Serbian refugee camps, and she previously wrote for Dow Jones Newswires and The Wall Street Journal. She bikes to get almost everywhere and has been doored only once.
Expertise Streaming video, film, television and music; virtual, augmented and mixed reality; deep fakes and synthetic media; content moderation and misinformation online Credentials
  • Three Folio Eddie award wins: 2018 science & technology writing (Cartoon bunnies are hacking your brain), 2021 analysis (Deepfakes' election threat isn't what you'd think) and 2022 culture article (Apple's CODA Takes You Into an Inner World of Sign)
Joan E. Solsman
2 min read
Screenshot by Lance Whitney/CNET

Netflix is giving a second lease on life to its original horror series about dead young women, planning to start production on a shorter second season of supernatural thriller "Hemlock Grove" later this year for a release in 2014.

It builds on Netflix's push for original content that appeals to subsets of its audience, based on data it culls from movie viewing and its recommendation algorithm. Earlier this week, the company said it would help produce more than 300 hours of original animated television aimed at kids with Dreamworks, and its first original series in the edgy, HBO-type mold -- "Orange Is the New Black" -- premieres next month.

The second season of "Hemlock Grove" will consist of 10 episodes that will go into production later this year and premiere in 2014. The first season had 13 episodes.

It was Netflix's next original program rolled out after smash "House of Cards," but it received less enthusiastic reviews than its predecessor and a fraction of the buzz and marketing of "Arrested Development" that followed it.

Eli Roth, the executive producer of the program known for his "Hostel" franchise, said the worldwide fan response to "Hemlock Grove" has been "phenomenal," in a statement about the second season.

Showrunner Charles H. "Chic" Eglee is joining as executive producer of the second season, a veteran of "The Walking Dead" and "Dexter."

His bona fides reflect two goals Netflix is shooting for with its original-content push. The company is investing in edgy programs in the vein of "Dexter" to more closely resemble an online alternative to the likes of the Showtime premium channel from CBS (whose online arm, CBS Interactive, is the publisher of CNET). And it's aiming for the type of show that will bring in new subscribers -- and keep them -- over a long haul, like "The Walking Dead" did.

The zombie drama on AMC Networks's flagship network was the top-rated scripted series on television in its latest season, a coup for a cable channel. It was the second highest-rated show overall, behind "Sunday Night Football" on Comcast's NBC. Eglee's involvement was during its first season.

We'll see if the lessons learned from the undead can inject more life into "Hemlock Grove."