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Mr. Mercedes Renewed For Season 3

The Golden Age of King continues on screens large and small.

AT&T Audience Network has announced that Mr. Mercedes, its detective thriller based on a series of novels by Stephen King, will return for a third season. According to Deadline, production is scheduled to begin early next year.

Mr. Mercedes features Harry Potter series actor Brendan Gleeson as Bill Hodges, a retired detective obsessed with an old case in which a psychopath murdered sixteen people by driving a car into a crowd (we'll give you three guesses what kind of car). Going by the online screen name Mr. Mercedes, the killer re-emerges after two years to drag Hodges into a deadly cat-and-mouse game.

King calls his "Bill Hodges trilogy" of novels — consisting of Mr. Mercedes, Finders Keepers and End of Watch — his first significant work in the hard-boiled detective genre, and the television adaptation has consistently wowed critics with its slow-burn aesthetic and strong performances. Aside from Gleeson, the main cast includes Harry Treadaway (Penny Dreadful) as Brady Hartsfield (AKA Mr. Mercedes) and Justine Lupe (Madam Secretary) as Holly Gibney, Hodges' partner.

The series is co-produced by David E. Kelley, a veteran TV producer and creator of monster hits such as L.A. Law, Ally McBeal and Boston Public. Director Jack Bender, who has also worked on the King adaptation Under the Dome in addition to helming episodes of Lost and Game of Thrones, will also return for the third season; he has handled 15 of the 20 episodes comprising the first two seasons.

It's been suggested that the series might stretch on long enough to cover all three of King's novels, and it's beginning to look more and more as if that will be the case. In fact, Daniel York, senior executive vice president and chief content officer for Audience Network, seems to think that the show's creative team may even be perfectly capable of finding new stories to tell once the source material is exhausted.

In a statement, York said, "Mr. Mercedes has resonated with such a wide audience, so we're thrilled to bring it back for a third season for our customers. David E. Kelley, Jack Bender and [production house] Sonar have crafted a series that honors the original work by Stephen King and we can't wait to see where they take the show in a 'post-Mr. Mercedes world.'"

The third season will once again consist of ten episodes, and is expected to drop late next year. In the meantime, if you don't count yourself among Audience Network's 26 million subscribers, you may want to consider taking the plunge. It's available for DirecTV Now customers and on AT&T's U-Verse, and is slowly building a stable of promising original content. In addition to Mr. Mercedes, it's also the home of spy drama Condor, a similarly acclaimed series starring Max Irons and William Hurt, which was recently renewed for a second season.