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SYFY WIRE Severance

'Severance' bosses talk plans for Season 2, hopes for a 6-season run of Apple TV sci-fi hit

All nine episodes of Season 1 are now streaming on Apple TV+.

By Josh Weiss
John Turturro, Britt Lower, Christopher Walken and Adam Scott in “Severance,” now streaming on Apple TV+.

Are you an "innie" or an "outie"? Or have you perhaps defied your sinister corporate overlords to merge both sides of your mind back into one cohesive, psychological unit? That's right, we're talking about the Season 1 finale of Severance, which brought the show's dystopian conspiracy to a boiling point with Mark (Adam Scott) and his fellow Lumon employees launching a plan to escape to the outside world, following an experimental procedure to sever their work lives from their home lives.

Ahead of Episode 9 ("The We We Are"), Apple TV+ announced the hit series from executive producer/director Ben Stiller would return for a second season. Sitting down with Deadline for a post-mortem chat alongside series creator Dan Erickson, Stiller teased out the plans for Season 2, admitting that the crew's top priority is to answer "unanswered questions" for the audience.

"I think we feel this responsibility to do it in a way that is both responsible and entertaining," he explained. "Part of the fun of the show, I’ve found, is that people have so many different theories and ideas and thoughts about it, so there’s a responsibility you have, and one thing I can guarantee you is that Dan Erickson has thought about this, and thought about it a lot over many years. We felt that there’s a balance [to aim for], because if too many questions are answered, then you don’t have a chance to really speculate and live in the world as much. So, we’re trying to figure out how to live in that world and figure out that balance, but the answers are there. It’s just, we want to try to mete it out in a way that feels fun and satisfying."

When asked about how many seasons he sees the show running for (in a perfect word, of course), Erickson hinted at a six-season blueprint. "I think it’s a big enough world," he said. "And part of the reason that I initially wanted to do this as a series, as opposed to a movie or something, was just the question of, how would the world change if this technology existed? The first question we obviously get into is how it would affect work and office culture, and that’s what we’re exploring here, but it opens up so many questions, and it’s such an interesting, slightly tweaked version of our reality that it was something that I was like, 'You could easily spend six seasons, just exploring this one question.' So, I think there’s definitely potential for a good amount of storytelling."

Now that Mark and his colleagues have gotten a taste of the lives they once lived, things are never going to be the same. There's no putting the genie back in the bottle, so-to-speak. "Their whole perception of the world has been altered by having this glimpse," Stiller added. "That’s going to be a lot of what the second season has to deal with — a big part of the engine of the second season’s beginning."

Severance co-stars Patricia Arquette, Zach Cherry, Michael Chernus, Dichen Lachman, Christopher Walken, John Turturro, Jen Tullock, Britt Lower, and Tramell Tillman.

All nine episodes of Season 1 are now streaming on Apple TV+.