Spoilers for season 1 of The Diplomat ahead.
The smooth-but-addicting Netflix political thriller The Diplomat not only delivers Keri Russell another well-deserved starring role, but also one of the better cliffhanger finales in recent memory. It’s tough to make government in-fighting feel anything other than satirical, overwrought, or outright boring, but The Diplomat pulls off the balance with aplomb: The series is wild enough to remain engaging, serious enough to inch its way in the general direction of prestige, and accessible enough not to deter those unaware of the difference between the FBI and the CIA. As such, a second season seemed imminent from the moment the finale aired. Now, that promise is official—especially given showrunner Debora Cahn’s ongoing relationship with Netflix. Here’s what we know so far.
Will The Diplomat get a season 2?
On May 1, Netflix officially announced a second season of The Diplomat is forthcoming. Because Cahn has signed an overall Netflix deal, it seemed likely from the beginning that the show would continue. (“I’ve seen firsthand Deb’s incredible work on shows including The West Wing,” said Netflix Vice President and head of Drama Development Jinny Howe, per Deadline. “She knows how to tell an amazing story, with character depth, stakes and surprises, all of which she’ll bring to The Diplomat. We’re thrilled to welcome Deb to Netflix.”)
And Cahn herself is eager to do more, as she told ELLE.com in an interview. “I have been fortunate in my life to work on a lot of long-running series, so I think that’s how I think,” she says. “I look for stories that can go on for a long time because, for me, the excitement of being able to go in really deep with characters you already know and you have a relationship with is fantastic.... You plan for the best version and hope for the best version and we’ll see what happens.”
Russell similarly shared her interests in returning, telling ELLE.com, “[Actors] all have different jobs and some are good and some are okay or some are really serious, and this is a really fun one to be a part of. And I would love to do more. So we’ll see.”
After the season 2 announcement was made, Cahn had this to say, per Netflix’s editorial site Tudum: “We had such a great time making The Diplomat. And it’s a thrill to see how much people are enjoying it. We’re so glad we get to do it again!”
What will season 2 be about?
An explosive season 1 finale ended on a cliffhanger, leaving the fate of Hal Wyler (Rufus Sewell), Stuart Heyford (Ato Essandoh), and Ronnie (Jess Chanliau) unclear. After U.S. Ambassador Kate Wyler (Keri Russell) and Austin Dennison (David Gyasi) infer that Prime Minister Nicol Trowbridge (Rory Kinnear) was the real source of the attack on the HMS Courageous, and that he hired the Russian Lenkov Group to kill his own countrymen, a bomb goes off in the car of Tory MP Merritt Grove. Hal, Stuart, Ronnie, and Merritt are all within range of the blast, and when Kate and Austin get the news, the camera cuts to black before we can learn what happens next.
The direction for season 2, then, is clear: The story will follow the recovery (or, if the writers go down a darker road, the funerals) of these characters while fleshing out Kate and Austin’s case against Trowbridge. (They can’t exactly accuse the PM of treason without the requisite evidence.) In the meantime, the White House’s efforts to slot Kate into the soon-to-be-vacant role of Vice President are sure to accelerate.
In an interview with Netflix’s editorial site Tudum, Sewell shared his hopes for Hal’s survival. “I just have to hope a) that there’ll be a second season, and b) that everyone will be OK. But the drama needs to be real,” he said.
As for Kate and Hal’s marital issues, he added, “I like to think there are enough problems to last us [a few seasons]. Who knows?”
Who will be in the cast?
Part of what makes the series work is the easy charisma of its ensemble; a second season would need all these players to return to create the same effect. Thus far, it seems likely the cast will remain the same, featuring Russell, Sewell, Ali Ahn, Essandoh, Gyasi, Kinnear, Miguel Sandoval, and more.
Allison Janney will also join in season 2 as Vice President Grace Penn, Netflix announced.
When will season 2 come out?
Netflix confirmed that The Diplomat season 2 will arrive in 2024, but there’s no exact release date yet.
For reference, news of Netflix green-lighting the show first dropped in January 2022, and season 1 premiered 15 months later. As for season 2, filming in London was delayed during the 2023 SAG-AFTRA strike, likely pushing back the release date.
Netflix did confirm that the show is in production, though, sharing a new behind-the-scenes photo of Russell with Cahn together on set.
This story will be updated.
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