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Damon Lindelof: ‘Watchmen’ Limited Series Decision ‘Above My Pay Grade’

The executive producer recently opened up about how the show was categorized for the 2020 Emmys.

Watchmen Regina King HBO

Regina King in “Watchmen”

Boris Martin/HBO

Watchmen” was one of last year’s most acclaimed television series and is expected to be a significant awards contender at the 2020 Emmys.

But the HBO show, created by Damon Lindelof, made headlines last month when the premium cable giant announced that it would be treated as a limited series during the Emmys, rather than a drama series. Lindelof recently discussed the strategic shift during an interview with Collider and noted that although he was not directly responsible for the decision, his firm stance on only doing one season of “Watchmen” likely influenced HBO’s choice.

“That decision actually happened well above my pay grade,” Lindelof told Collider. “I think that when we went and pitched the show to HBO we said, ‘We’re just gonna do one season and then see where we are. And just so you know, it’s more of a ‘Fargo’ model or a ‘True Detective’ model where, if there were other seasons of the show, it would reset. It’s not the continuative adventures of these characters.’ And they were like, ‘Cool, cool, cool.’”

IndieWire Awards Editor Libby Hill commended HBO’s decision to treat “Watchmen” as a limited series last month. She noted that “Watchmen” would face fierce competition in the drama category due to the popularity of “Succession,” and added that the “Big Little Lies” limited series controversy — which came as the show’s creators were pining for future seasons — wouldn’t be the same kind of issue for the superpowered HBO show.

“And then when the series ended, they were like, ‘Are you gonna do a second season?’ And I was like, ‘I don’t have any ideas,’ and they were like, ‘Oh, so you meant what you said before,’” Lindelof told Collider. “And so I think that because there’s only gonna be one of them, it feels more appropriate to call it a limited series than a drama series. But again, I get consulted on these decisions but I don’t make them.”

HBO isn’t the only entity that is pining for a second season of “Watchmen.” There has been significant fan and media buzz about a potential Season 2 in recent months, though Lindelof has expressed a desire to see the series continue, he has also consistently noted that he wouldn’t move forward with new “Watchmen” projects unless he had a fitting idea for them.

A potential “Watchmen” Season 2 has always been in flux, and Collider’s interview with Lindelof didn’t shed new light on the subject. Lindelof reaffirmed his interest in seeing “Watchmen” continued but noted that he still didn’t have any solid ideas for future seasons.

“I wish that I had an idea for ‘Watchmen’ Season 2, and I really wish that there is going to be a ‘Watchmen’ Season 2; I just – we put it all on the field for Season 1,” Lindelof told Collider. “And every great idea we had, I was like, what if we just put that in Season 1 versus, ‘Oh, let’s stick it away for later.’ And so, could there be a second season of ‘Watchmen?’ I personally hope that there is but I don’t think it should exist just because people liked the first season.”

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