AMC has surprised all who predicted the early demise of Halt And Catch Fire—even, it seemed there at the end, the show itself—by ordering a second season of the 1980s technology drama, set to premiere next summer. “This is a show about invention, experimentation, and the inherent risks in trying to break new ground—themes that really resonate with us as a network and attracted a passionate audience,” AMC’s Charlie Collier said in a press release that sounded not a little defensive. “We have a history of demonstrating patience through the early seasons of new shows, betting on talent and building audience over time. We see that opportunity here and look forward to a second season of Halt And Catch Fire.”
Though its ratings stumbled considerably after its premiere, Halt And Catch Fire improved with DVR and VOD numbers factored in, averaging around 1.3 million viewers across its first season—a number low enough for the network to pull shows before (R.I.P., Rubicon), but not all that different from what Mad Men drew in its first two years. It’s also possible that AMC is banking on the increased interest in Lee Pace, post-Guardians Of The Galaxy (and perhaps even Scoot McNairy, who’s already getting buzz around his role in Batman V. Superman). Or, it already bought the rights to all these great ’80s songs, and it just needs to use them.
Or, like those of us who stuck it out through Halt And Catch Fire, despite its frustrating messiness, it sees the potential in a show whose flaws, like bugs in a line of code, are easily identifiable and will (hopefully) be quickly removed. After all, by season’s end, even the series itself—like Pace’s perpetually unsatisfied, ostensible visionary—seemed to blow up its final product, appearing to have realized it had also made a slick machine that suffered from a personality problem, and was unlikely to make the impact it was hoping for.
The aftermath of that destruction definitely promised a far more interesting story to come, and now the producers have the time to absorb those criticisms and finish retooling that original design into Halt And Catch Fire 2.0. Here’s hoping the producers are not too busy lying to and having sex with each other to actually work on it.