‘Big Little Lies’ Season 2 will premiere in June, so yes, it’ll miss this year’s Emmys

Time to take another show out of your Emmy predictions this year: “Big Little Lies.” Season 2 of the HBO hit will premiere in June, Quentin Schaffer, HBO’s EVP of communications, announced Friday at the Television Critics Association press tour. An exact date was not announced.

A June premiere means “Big Little Lies” will miss the May 31 Emmy eligibility deadline and will now be eligible for the 2020 Emmy Awards. “Big Little Lies” won eight Emmys in 2017, including Best Limited Series, but the second season renewal means it will likely be moved over to the drama categories (the Producers Guild of America Awards shifted it to drama last year when the renewal was announced).

SEE This photo of Reese Witherspoon hurling ice cream at Meryl Streep is everything we want from ‘Big Little Lies’ Season 2

The June premiere might also be a savvy move on HBO’s part to avoid having “Big Little Lies” compete against reigning Best Drama Series Emmy champ “Game of Thrones,” which will premiere its eighth and final season in April and is arguably the frontrunner to win again at this point. This also means the drama series lineup is even more open without “Big Little Lies” in the mix, as four of last year’s nominees are gone — “The Americans” ended in May 2018; “The Crown,” “Stranger Things” and “Westworld” won’t be back in time. Hulu has not yet announced a premiere date for “The Handmaid’s Tale,” so that means “Game of Thrones” and “This Is Us” right now are the only potential returning nominees.

Written by David E. Kelley, who penned Season 1, and directed by Andrea Arnold, who stepped in for Jean-Marc Vallee, Season 2 of “Big Little Lies” picks up after Perry’s (Alexander Skarsgard) death, with Meryl Streep joining the cast as Perry’s mother, who visits her daughter-in-law Celeste (Nicole Kidman) and grandchildren. Reese Witherspoon, Shailene Woodley, Laura Dern and Zoe Kravitz are all returning as well.

During the show’s panel later on Friday, Streep shared that she was “addicted” to the first season and jumped at the opportunity to play Mary Louise Wright, who was named after her (Streep’s birth name is Mary Louise Streep). “I thought it was an amazing exercise in what we know and don’t know about people. I wanted to be in that world,” she said. “It flirted with the mystery of things — what was unsaid, un-shown, unknown was the gravitational pull of the piece.”

Of her character’s relationship with Celeste, all Streep would tease was: “I do love her.”

SEE Meryl Streep joins ‘Big Little Lies’ Season 2 — will she win her fourth Emmy?

Kelley wrote the second season based off an idea by Liane Moriarty, the author of the best-selling novel on which Season 1 was based. Kidman said the “enormous demand from the audience” played a large part in getting the gang back together for a sophomore run, even though all had said during Season 1’s press tour that it would be a one-and-done limited series.

“The desire to spend more time together was a huge part of it, but also there was an enormous demand from the audience,” Kidman said. “I’d never been in something that had reached so far globally and that was such a compelling idea of putting something together.”

Kelley, who joked that they “looked at Meryl’s demo reel,” saw Season 2, which won’t have the Greek chorus framing device, as an opportunity to explore the aftermath of the Monterey 5 covering up Perry’s death. “We didn’t really close the chapter. It ended on a really open note of what will happen next. Will the lie have a life? Will it have a malignancy?” he said. “There was a lot of fertile storytelling ground to be mined.”

Added Witherspoon: “We’ve talked about trauma … but how do we cope with it? How do we go on? How do we carry on?”

But “Big Little Lies” probably won’t go on beyond Season 2. “No such plan now” for a third season, Kelley said. “We like where our closure is at the end of Season 2.”

“We sat here and said that last time, David,” Witherspoon pointed out.

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