Freeform has renewed its most-watched series ever, Cruel Summer, for a second season ahead of the season one finale airing today, Tuesday, June 15, at 10 p.m. EDT/PDT. The series’ episodes debut on Freeform and stream the next day on Hulu.
Cruel Summer is the first scripted series to debut under Freeform President Tara Duncan.
The series ranks as the No. 1 new cable drama of the year among Women 18-34, with the most recent episode delivering the drama’s biggest linear TV audience yet – surging by 31% over its premiere. In multiplatform +35 day, the series averages 6.8 million viewers per episode.
On Hulu, Cruel Summer was the most-watched next-day season one title from a linear channel in its first seven weeks to date. The series is the No. 1 most engaged new scripted cable series on social in 2021.
“Renewing ‘Cruel Summer’ for a season two was an easy decision,” stated Duncan. “It’s the biggest series debut in Freeform’s history, and the audience response has been overwhelmingly positive.
“Jessica, Michelle and Tia did a phenomenal job telling an addictive story that’s tapped into the cultural zeitgeist. I’m excited to see where they take the series next.”
“Collaborating with Iron Ocean, our dedicated crew, charismatic cast, and our partners at Freeform and eOne have been the best first showrunning experience I could ask for,” added showrunner and executive producer Tia Napolitano.
“I am beyond grateful and excited by the amazing fan response to our show! Continuing to bottle ‘Cruel Summer’ magic for a season two is an absolute dream come true.”
“We are so proud of this show and the incredible cast and crew who brought so much hard work and grit to every single scene. This wouldn’t have been possible without them and our mastermind showrunner, Tia Napolitano. To be picked up for a second season is a dream, and we have so many ideas for where we can take this next,” said executive producers Jessica Biel and Michelle Purple of Iron Ocean Productions.
“We are excited to get to work with our brilliant team of creatives on this project, in addition to our partners at Freeform and eOne, including Jackie Sacerio, who brought the project to us. To the audiences who have been tuning into this show week in and week out, THANK YOU!!! This is all for you!”
From executive producer Jessica Biel (The Sinner), Cruel Summer is a psychological thriller that follows two young women: Kate Wallis, the popular girl with a charmed life who one day goes missing, and Jeanette Turner, the nerdy wannabe who is accused of being connected to Kate’s disappearance.
All signs point to Jeanette’s guilt, but is Kate really who she seems to be? Set over three summers and told through shifting points of view, the series challenges perception and follows how one girl can go from being a sweet outlier to the most despised person in America.
The series stars Olivia Holt, Chiara Aurelia, Michael Landes, Froy Gutierrez, Harley Quinn Smith, Allius Barnes, Blake Lee and Brooklyn Sudano.
Cruel Summer comes from studio eOne and was created by Bert V. Royal.