Speaking with Entertainment Weekly, Watchmen showrunner Damon Lindelof said if the series were to return, it would likely be vastly different than the first season, which wrapped on Sunday night on HBO


Who watches the Watchmen — especially if there’s no second season?

As the nine-episode debut run of HBO’s new hit Watchmen came to a close on Sunday night, fans are already asking about the future of the superhero drama series. The answer, showrunner Damon Lindelof tells Entertainment Weekly, is for viewers not to hold their breath: a followup is not in the works at the moment.

“If I was going to do another season … I would need to have a really cool idea and a justification for doing it. I don’t have either of those things right now,” said Lindelof, 46. “It doesn’t mean that they won’t come at some future point. I just finished the show four weeks ago; my antenna is up, but it’s like only getting static.

He added: “I can’t say that there will definitely not be a second season and I can’t say there definitely will be. That’s kind of where my head’s at.”

Inspired by the 1987 graphic novel of the same name, Watchmen explores an alternate reality where masked vigilantes are hunted as criminals in a gritty narrative that tackles issues of terrorism, police brutality and racism.

“This is a love letter and an examination of the original Watchmen … I wanted everyone to know this is not the middle of the trilogy, this is not the beginning of a seven-season run,” Lindelof told EW. “In my opinion, the best iteration of any season of Watchmen would mirror the original [graphic novel] in that it would be a self-contained story with the resolution of a fundamental mystery.”

HBO's Watchmen
Regina King in Watchmen
| Credit: HBO

Lindelof said he pitched the structure of the show to HBO as similar to anthology series like True Detective and Fargo, describing the potential for new seasons set in the same universe but with different casts and characters.

“There’s always going to be space for more Watchmen. I feel like this world is so expansive — hopefully more expansive now than it was before,” he said. “You could call something ‘Watchman‘ and not even feature any of the characters who were in the original or in this season as long as they all occupy the same world.”

Starring Regina King, Jeremy Irons, Jean Smart and Don Johnson, season 1 of Watchmen was received well by both critics and fans. Premiering to strong viewership totals in October, the show became a word-of-mouth success and HBO’s biggest hit new show since Big Little Lies, according to Variety.

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Regina King
Regina King
| Credit: Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

Thanking fans on Twitter for supporting the series, King, 48, shared her gratitude for being part of the project.

“We represent a huge group of talented people that are responsible for the 9 hours of storytelling you witnessed,” the Emmy-winning actress wrote. “I am extremely grateful to be a part of the #WatchmenHBO family. I hope you all enjoyed watching as much as we enjoyed the process. Team work makes a dream work.”

Lindelof said his current preference for self-contained, limited narratives is due to some negative fan reactions to his past project Lost, the iconic stranded-island series that went on for six seasons.

“I feel for someone who’s wildly inconsistent in general, I’ve been fairly consistent on this point,” Lindelof said. “When we first went public with the pilot at New York Comic-Con, I wanted to make sure that everybody who was going along for the ride knew what the design of the season was. Especially after what happened with Lost, and the way that a lot of serialized dramas unfolded, where the audience doesn’t know how thick the book is when they pick it up.”

Watchmen Season 1 is available to stream on HBO.