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Evil Renewed for Second Season by CBS, Will Only Run for 13 Episodes

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BY April 27, 2020
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In our breakdown of the Evil series premiere, we laid out how the series put a fun, maybe-mystical spin on the weekly procedural. As the episodes have gone on, the show strikes a nice balance of serialized storytelling and miracle-of-the-week cases for our core characters to investigate. CBS thinks they’ve done a nice job, too, as they’ve renewed Evil for a second season. This came along with the news that four other freshman series (All Rise, Bob Hearts Abishola, Carol’s Second Act, and The Unicorn) all earned full season orders. Unfortunately for the Demon George stans in the world, Evil will only run for a little more than half of a typical full season order. Showrunners Michelle and Robert King only wanted to do a 13-episode run, though they did toy with the notion of rounding out the season to fifteen episodes.

Should Evil Be Renewed or Cancelled?

Evil Renewed for Second Season Demon George via screengrab Image via screengrab

Since CBS already renewed Evil for a second season, this question is moot but still worth asking. It’s not unheard of that a network will continue a series that, probably, shouldn’t go on. That’s not the case with this show. As a procedural it works pretty well, because the crew, played by Katja Herbers, Mike Colter, and Aasif Mandvi, unravel a mystery each week.

Yet, unlike the plethora of police shows where the good guys get the bad guy each week, nothing ever really goes well for their “clients.” In fact, the fourth episode of the series features a twist so dark that it’s a shock they even got it past the network television censors. With Demon George and the creepy character played by Michael Emerson, there are definitely magical elements. However, thus far, the series makes it seem like the problems they tackle have more Earthly explanations. There is also a fairly consistent serial element that gives viewers watching for more than the case of the week something to latch on to.

Renewing this series, especially with a shortened season, is a smart call by CBS.

Now That CBS Renewed Evil for a Second Season They Have a Decision to Make

Evil Renewed for Second Season Eric the Psycho Kid Image via CBS

One of the things that made The X-Files work so well is that the show decided early on that aliens and paranormal phenomena were real. Or, at the very least, we only ever saw definitely paranormal things from the perspective of the subjects of the investigations or Mulder himself. Evil has a similar problem. They drop a few clues here and there but have yet to actually show something magical happening. Demon George is a night terror (though the makeup designer for the show-within-a-show that features the creature said he gets his ideas from “nightmares”). Colter’s David Acosta saw a holy vision, but only after making a tall glass of psychedelic mushroom tea.

To really move this series into a new phase in the second season, the weird quotient has to be increased. Either let the skeptics see some stuff they can’t explain or (even better) have Acosta grow ever-more certain of the evil their facing, but with “rational” explanations for all of it. Separating him, the true believer, from the rest of the core group of characters would create some excellent drama. Either way, we’re getting at least 13 more episodes of this very interesting series.

What do you think about Evil getting renewed for a second season by CBS? Share your thoughts, predictions, and hopes in the comments below!

Featured image via CBS

TV ShowsCBSCBS All AccessEvil

Joshua M. Patton is a father, veteran, and writer living in Pittsburgh, PA. The first books he read on his own were comics, and he's loved the medium ever since. He is the greatest star-pilot in the galaxy, a cunning warrior, and a good friend. His book "What I Learned: Stories, Essays, and More" is available in print from Amazon and from all electronic booksellers.

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