‘3 Body Problem’ Renewed for Season 2 (And More?) at Netflix

Netflix News
3 Body Problem Renewed For Season 2 At Netflix

Picture: Netflix

It’s official! 3 Body Problem is coming back for a second season at Netflix. Announced at the Netflix Upfront presentation in May 2024, 3 Body Problem will return for new episodes “to take viewers through the full journey of this epic saga.” Here’s what we know so far.

3 Body Problem is a Netflix Original sci-fi drama series created by David Benioff, D.B. Weiss, and Alexander Woo. It is based on the novel by Chinese author Liu Cixin. Benioff and Weiss are also showrunners and executive producers on the series.

An army of producers are behind the project, with 26 listed, including 19 listed executive or co-executive producers. Some of the executive producers on the list are Rosamund Pike, Brad Pitt, Rian Johnson, Bernadette Caulfield, and Alexander Woo.

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Note: This live article will be updated periodically to reflect new viewership numbers. Contains contributions from Kasey Moore.

Table of Contents

Has and Will Netflix renew 3 Body Problem for a second season?

Netflix Renewal Status: Renewed
Our Renewal Prediction: Likely Renewal

At the Netflix Upfront, Netflix confirmed that 3 Body Problem would be returning for new episodes to take viewers through the entire journey of this epic saga. We know there’ll be a season 2, but Netflix is keeping the number of seasons and episodes that will be revealed later under wraps.

David Benioff, D.B. Weiss, and Alexander Woo said on the renewal: “We’re thrilled that we get to tell this story through to its epic conclusion. Ever since we read the last page of Cixin Liu’s magnificent trilogy, we hoped we’d be able to bring the audience to the end of the universe with us. Here we go!”

Peter Friedlander, Vice President, Scripted Series (US & Canada), Netflix said, “The extraordinary 3 Body Problem, brought to life with the deft hands of Benioff, Weiss and Woo will soar to never-before-seen heights as they tackle the rest of the mind-blowing journey through ‘Death’s End.’ Their brilliant vision as storytellers is matched by their amazing partnership — and, just like the fans, we can’t wait to see what they have in store.”

David Benioff, D.B. Weiss and Alexander Woo will all return to work on the new episodes.

A lot has already been said about the future of the show. In an interview with the Hollywood Reporter, Benioff explained how a scene we could see in the second season of 3 Body Problem could be the show’s equivalent of Game of Thrones Red Wedding;

“At our first Comic-Con [for Game of Thrones], someone asked if we’re going to get a second season.” I remember saying there’s a scene that would happen in season three — I didn’t even want to name it, but ‘RW, for people who know — if we can get there, I think we’re going to be OK. And there’s a scene in the second season [of 3 Body Problem] that I feel is — it’s not the Judgment Day scene [in season one] — it’s one that happens in the second season … things wildly escape, and there’s one scene, if we get to it, we’re golden — like when we got to the Red Wedding on Thrones.”

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LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – MARCH 17: Alexander Woo, D.B. Weiss and David Benioff attend the Los Angeles debut of Netflix’s “3 Body Problem” at NYA WEST on March 17, 2024 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images)

Benioff further elaborated on his thoughts about Liu Cixen’s trilogy and what a second season would mean;

“It’s something we’ve talked about with the Netflix guys, too. Liu Cixin’s created this indelible trilogy and the books just get better for me. The second book is far better than the first, and the third book just completely blew my mind. The story just gets more and more ambitious as it goes, and it takes a huge leap in book two. So I feel like if we survive to the second season, we’re going to be in a good place.”

Given that each episode costs roughly $20 million, and if the second season is seen as even more “ambitious,” those costs could rise significantly. Without a sizeable audience, Netflix will find it hard to justify the costs of a second season.

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LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – MARCH 17: David Benioff speaks onstage during Netflix’s “3 Body Problem” Los Angeles Screening Event at Nya Studios on March 17, 2024 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/Getty Images for Netflix)

Showrunners have said they’re aiming for three or four seasons total. Speaking to NME, showrunners Benioff, Weiss, and Alexander Woo revealed that they already know where they are headed and how many seasons that could take, but that would depend on how successful Season 1 is:

“If the first series doesn’t work it will be one and done but if we’re able to keep going and tell the whole story, whether that’s in three seasons or four seasons or whatever it is, we know the place we’re heading to, which is a lot of fun.”

3 Body Problem Season 2 Liu Cixin Novels Netflix

Picture: Liu Cixin’s 3 Body Problem trilogy – Head of Zeus (Publisher)

How has 3 Body Problem performed so far?

Using Netflix’s stats and other locations, let’s examine how well the show is performing thus far.

Let’s begin with Netflix’s top 10 stats – that’s where the show featured for seven weeks in total. Here’s how the show’s viewership breaks down week-to-week:

Week Period Hours Viewed Views / CVE Rank Week in Top 10
March 17th, 2024 to March 24th, 2024 81,700,000 (New) 11,000,000 2 1
March 24th, 2024 to March 31st, 2024 115,600,000 (+41%) 15,600,000 1 2
March 31st, 2024 to April 7th, 2024 61,300,000 (-47%) 8,300,000 1 3
April 7th, 2024 to April 14th, 2024 35,500,000 (-42%) 4,800,000 1 4
April 14th, 2024 to April 21st, 2024 24,000,000 (-32%) 3,200,000 3 5
April 21st, 2024 to April 28th, 2024 16,000,000 (-33%) 2,200,000 6 6
April 28th, 2024 to May 5th, 2024 11,400,000 (-29%) 1,500,000 9 7

Those numbers don’t exist in a vacuum, so let’s expand it and see how well the show is performing compared to others. Courtesy of What’s on Netflix contributor Frédéric Durand, here’s how the show stacks up against a slew of Netflix shows, with titles in green being renewed series and titles in red being canceled. This graph was published after the first 14 days.

3 Body Problem Viewership After 14 Days

As you can see there, while the show certainly isn’t a top performer like The Watcher, The Night Agent, or even Avatar, the show is tracking above The Sandman but slightly below XO, Kitty, and Vikings: Valhalla.

As Frederic noted on X, if the show is renewed, it will be the most-watched cancellation, given the viewership. That continues to be the case in week four, as we covered in our top 10 report for the week ending April 14th.

3 Body Problem Viewership Week 4

Viewership of 3 Body Problem vs The Sandman, 1899 and Resident Evil

Drilling down into the individual top 10s via FlixPatrol, we can see the show has featured and continues to feature after several weeks in all regions worldwide, with the show performing particularly well across Europe and the Nordics.

After 29 days, the show was ranked in the global top 10 TV series in almost all regions, still excluding in the US, where it dropped out after 28 days.

Flixpatrol Top 10 Data For 3 Body Problem

FlixPatrol data for 3 Body Problem as of April 19th, 2024

We got our first batch of Nielsen numbers (they track US TV viewing) on April 18th, around a month after the series debuted.

Per their press release:

“The Netflix original series 3 Body Problem debuted on the platform on March 21, and in its first four days racked up 1.37 billion viewing minutes across 8 episodes. The sci-fi drama series was a cross-cultural success with an audience that was 23% Hispanic and 10% Asian.”

How does that stack up with other shows debuting with Nielsen? Let’s take a look:

Nielsen Data 3 Body Problem First 4 Days

What can we expect from 3 Body Problem season 2?

Why is Saul Durand so important?

As one of only three Wallfacers, Saul Durand has been specially selected to help humanity in their fight against the San-Ti. Saul and others are still determining why he has been chosen as one of the Wallfacers, and initially, Saul attempts to reject the position. However, after an assassination attempt on Saul fails, the Secretary General of the UN discusses with him why it doesn’t matter whether or not he sees himself as a Wallfacer but, more importantly, what the people believe and how everyone owes it to their descendants to give themselves a fighting chance against the Shan-Ti.

What makes Saul so important has yet to be revealed. However, we do know that Vera Ye gave him extremely high praise, acknowledging that he has the most potential out of “The Oxford Five.” Despite not having a love for physics, his natural problem-solving ability could be key to helping humanity defeat the Shan-Ti.

Saul Durand 3 Body Problem Season 2 Netflix

Picture: Jovan Adepo as Saul Durand – Bighead Littlehead

Will Thomas Wade betray humanity?

Thomas Wade is ruthless in his approach to dealing with the Shan-Ti problem, and his track record speaks for itself, with many of his high-risk operations resulting in resounding victories for his agency. At the end of the first season, Wade is confronted by the Shan-Ti, who makes him aware that he is a part of their plan and that there is a place for him when they arrive. They also make it painfully aware that they could kill Wade at a moment’s notice.

Wade is stubborn as he is ruthless, but he would likely place his life below the survival of the human race. However, if the Shan-Ti can damage him psychologically, then there is always a chance that Wade could be swayed to their side, to which he would be a deadly adversary of humanity.

Thomas Wade 3 Body Problem Season 2 Netflix

Picture: Liam Cunningham as Thomas Wade – Bighead Littlehead

What is Tatiana’s place amongst the Shan-Ti?

One of Shan-Ti’s most dedicated followers, Tatiana, is rewarded for her loyalty and now has access to one of the previously gifted headsets to Jack and Jin. What this means remains to be determined, as the game’s purpose was to allow the Shan-Ti to recruit like-minded individuals to aid them on their journey to Earth.

Humanity now knows about the Shan-Ti, and Tatiana remains the last known member of the organization of Shan-Ti followers established by Mike Evans and Ye Wenjie. Her true purpose in the Shan-Ti may be to sow discord among humanity and recruit other like-minded individuals to the cause. While the Sophons are extremely versatile and a dangerous tool of the Shan-Ti, what is arguably even more dangerous would be an underground movement of Shan-Ti worshippers ready to act against humanity at a moment’s notice, sabotaging any potential threats the Sophon couldn’t carry out themselves.

Tatiana 3 Body Problem Season 2 Netflix

Picture: Marlo Kelly as Tatiana

Will we see Will ever again?

Sadly, for all involved, Project Staircase was a failure. Without intervention, what remains of Will and the spacecraft will wander endless deep space forever. With the Shan-Ti on their way to Earth, is there a chance that the strange alien race could find a way to the spacecraft and extract Will from it?

They made it clear to Thomas Wade their disappointment with Project Staircase’s failure. Considering the lengths and technology used in their endeavor to Earth, one of the Shan-Ti ships could intercept Will’s spacecraft.

Can we expect to see a time skip?

Given that hibernation technology is fully developed, we’ll likely see a time skip if other characters besides Thomas Wade join him. What the world could look like and the advancements made after decades or even a century or two will be exciting.

Shan Ti 3 Body Problem Season 2 Netflix

Picture: Sea Shimooka as Sophon – Bighead Littlehead

When could we expect the second season of 3 Body Problem on Netflix?

Filming for 3 Body Problem began years ago. In fact, production only got underway on season 1 back in early November 2021 and ended sometime in September 2022. That means there was a gap of 28 months between filming starting and the 3 Body Problem release on Netflix. Naturally, this was shot during COVID-19, which no doubt put in delays, but either way, it’s a big production.

The second book has already been described as significantly more ambitious than the first. Whether this would increase the second season’s production length remains unclear, but it is not implausible.

Regardless, subscribers may have to wait until 2026 for the release of 3 Body Problem season 2 on Netflix with 2025 only possible should the series get underway relatively quickly.

Are you looking forward to more 3 Body Problem on Netflix? Let us know in the comments below!

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