Ratched was the third major Ryan Murphy show to hit Netflix exclusively and as you may know, the show has been renewed for a second season. But, we’re now well over a year after season 1 hit Netflix and we’ve had little to no news about the show’s future; here’s what we know so far about season 2 of Ratched.
The TV series serves as a prequel to the 1962 novel and subsequent movie, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (although it’s very much its own package and can be enjoyed without seeing the original movie).
Among the cast is Sarah Paulson (who frequently teams up for Ryan Murphy productions), Finn Wittrock, Cynthia Nixon, and Jon Jon Briones. The series was released to positive reviews from critics and audiences alike on September 18th, 2020.
The series was also an awards nomination magnet scooping up 4 Primetime Emmys but it’s worth noting it was a costly series for Netflix. Reports suggest the show costs between $10 and $15 million per episode.
How well did Ratched do on Netflix?
The series is among the most-watched Netflix Originals to date. Netflix released the statistic that 48 million people had checked out the show within the first four weeks of release.
Nielsen ratings were available for the title and recorded 972 million minutes watched in the US alone.
The top 10s can also give us an indication as to how well the show did. The series was the 10th biggest TV show of 2022 according to Flixpatrol, which given the series arrived quite late in the year, is quite remarkable.
In the United States, the show stayed in the top 10s for 28 days. In the United Kingdom, it appeared in the top 10s for 39 days.
Ratched Season 2 Renewal Status at Netflix
Official Netflix renewal status: Renewed (last updated: 09/20/2020)
Eight more episodes at least are expected for the show and were ordered before season 1 came out.
When Ratched was picked up by Netflix back in September 2017, it came with a two-season initial order. It’s diverged slightly since the original press release in that we got one episode more than originally promised, but as Deadline reports, “Ratched scored a two-season, 18-episode straight-to-series order”.
Ratched came to Netflix via the now-defunct Fox 21 Television Studios alongside The Politician which was also given an upfront order (although that’s now complete and not currently expected to return for a season 3).
As you may know, Ryan Murphy works with Netflix in an overall deal with Netflix that doesn’t technically come into play for Ratched (or indeed The Politician).
What to expect from season 2 of Ratched
Season 1 of Ratched ends in an almighty cliffhanger as you’re probably acutely now aware.
Edmund Tolleson has narrowly escaped the mental institution rendezvousing with both Charlotte and Louise with the trio heading to Mexico but will he head back and finish the job?
Beyond that, DigitalSpy predicts we’ll see various relationships explored such as Ratched and Briggs and Edmund and Charlotte.
Whether the series will go beyond season 2 is another question. In an interview with OprahMag, “We have an end game. There’s an end to the story as we know it, culturally, but so little is known about Mildred Ratched in the movie and the book. There’s nothing about her past. She’s a monolith. It’s almost like she’s not really a person.”
Some have speculated that the series will eventually end by crossing over with the movie that was released in 1975 but for now, that’s all speculation.
Sarah Paulson spoke to The Wrap back in 2020 and gave some idea about what we could expect from season 2 and even beyond.
She told the independent trade publication:
“… what you are probably going to see is a Mildred, who has now become even harder, because the thing that kept her soft was the part of her that was engaged in the love and the protection and the desire for absolution as it pertained to her brother. And now that that’s gone, I don’t know who she’ll become. But further and further away from her heart and her humanity, I can be pretty sure about that.”
Speaking about the future, The Wrap states:
“Paulson says Murphy has told her the “goal” for the show — should the show continue beyond Season 2 — is to end up in the ’70s era that “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” took place in.”
When will Ratched season 2 begin production?
Current production status: STILL unknown (Last updated: June 2022)
Now over a year after season 1 landed on Netflix, we still have no clue as to when the series will get back into production or where it even is in the development process.
Given the show launched during the pandemic and its effect on production, it’s likely that scheduling is the biggest problem here. Indeed, Paulson shortly after the release of season 1 gave us a hint that we were a long way off any second season saying she didn’t expect filming to start until the end of 2021.
Another significant development as of late is how aggressive Disney has been in cutting off any of their productions going to rivals and buying back shows. For example, we saw all of The Defenders titles leave Netflix in early 2022 and perhaps more pertinent to Ratched, is the fact that a 20th Television series called Soundtrack released exclusively on Netflix (albeit canceled after one season) was also yanked from the library earlier this year.
Should Ratched be removed from Netflix and moved to say, Hulu, it’d involve Disney buying back the rights to the show. We’re told that Ratched was licensed to Netflix exclusively on a 10-year deal. That would have the show expiring in 2030 at present.
One cast member in the summer of 2021, Cynthia Nixon, suggested that the show may not get underway with filming until early 2022. That’s not been the case so far.
According to Cynthia Nixon, “Ratched” Season 2 might not enter production until Early 2022:
“There was some talk that it would be the end of the summer, the beginning of the fall. That would work well for me, but I’m also hearing maybe not be until January or February.” #Ratched pic.twitter.com/K8T2Tf41bB
— The AHS Zone (@ahszone) June 1, 2021
In early August 2022, Variety provided a very small update to confirm what we’ve said above, there’s no news.
In a wide-ranging interview with Sarah Paulson, they stated, “she [Paulson] tells Variety she doesn’t know if a second season is in the works or not.”
As noted, Ryan Murphy is still working under an overall deal with Netflix. Excluding the 20th Television shows, he’s produced 8 titles for Netflix exclusively with close to 10 in development with big upcoming projects including Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story, The Watcher, and Mr. Harrigan’s Phone.
His deal with Netflix expires in June 2023 and is hotly tipped to head back to Disney. If he does, is it unimaginable that Disney buys the rights back for Ratched and season 2 goes there instead? We’ll have to wait and see.
Although we’ll be keeping an eye on all things Ratched season 2 right here at What’s on Netflix, there are also a couple of Twitter accounts we implore you to follow:
AHSZone on Twitter and Instagram is a love letter to Ryan Murphy content and they keep up-to-date with all his upcoming productions including Ratched.
BrasilRatched on Twitter also has some excellent coverage of the series including where we found most of the BTS shots leading up to the promotion of the show.
Do you want to see Ratched return for a second season on Netflix? Let us know in the comments.