New Cast and Showrunner Announced

Cast of ‘Cruel Summer’ Season 1.
Freeform/Frank Ockenfels

This is a shakeup that no one expected. After Cruel Summer‘s critically acclaimed premiere on Freeform in 2021, the series will be saying goodbye to its cast and showrunner — and there will be a completely different story explored in season 2.

The network announced that it would be launching on Thursday, April 21st Sadie Stanley, Eloise Payet, Griffin Gluck, KaDee Strickland, Sean Blakemore, Paul Adelstein Lisa YamadaThe anthology series will have a new season.

Showrunner Tia NapolitanoWho joined? Cruel SummerAfter the pilot when the creator Bert V. RoyalExited the series and will be replaced by Elle Triedman. “After getting season 2 of Cruel Summer up and running, Tia Napolitano has stepped back from the show, and as such, will no longer be serving as showrunner,” a rep for the show told The Hollywood ReporterThursday’s statement. “Tia has been instrumental in the success of the show and will remain an executive producer.”

Cast members starting in season 1 Olivia Holt, Chiara Aurelia, Michael Landes, Froy Gutierrez, Harley Quinn Smith, Allius Barnes, Blake Lee Brooklyn SudanoYou will not be back.

Cruel SummerThe series premiered in April 2021. It explored a small town dealing with a missing girl for three years: 1993-1994 and 1995. Kate Wallis (Holt), who is kidnapped and later rescued, is accused by Jeanette Turner (Aurelia), of knowing more than she claimed.

The first season wrapped up with Kate thinking she was wrong about Jeanette’s involvement — only for the audience to find out that Jeanette knew that Kate was captive and didn’t say anything.

After Cruel Summer aired its season finale in June 2021, Napolitano opened up about the vision that the writers’ room had for season 2. “We’re in early days,” Napolitano explained to Entertainment WeeklyAt the time. “So other than we know we’re going to deliver a super-twisty mystery, we know we’re going to live with some interesting characters and their psychology and talk about some important stuff like we did with grooming in season 1. Other than that, it’s completely open-ended at this point.”

The cast members also opened up about their plans to return for another installment — either as their original characters or for an entirely new storyline.

According to Freeform, season 2 will be set “in an idyllic waterfront town in the Pacific Northwest” as the show explores “the rise and fall” of an intense teenage friendship. “Approaching the story from three different timelines surrounding Y2K, the season twists and turns as it tracks the early friendship between Megan, Isabella and Megan’s best friend Luke, the love triangle that blossomed, and the mystery that would impact all of their lives going forward,” the synopsis continued, noting that the upcoming season doesn’t yet have an air date.

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