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The Alienist Season 3 - Will It Ever Happen?

With a trio of well-written heroes and a never-ending list of grizzly cases to investigate, it seemed like TNT's "The Alienist" had the potential to run for several seasons. The series followed psychiatrist Laszlo Kreizler (Daniel Brühl) as he solves horrific murders alongside Luke Evans' illustrator, John Moore, and Dakota Fanning's ambitious NYPD secretary, Sara Howard.

Audiences lapped up the gritty thriller while many critics praised the relatable themes that were woven into the compelling mysteries. It even got a second wave of attention thanks to its international release on Netflix. But many were caught off guard by the ending to "The Alienist: Angel of Darkness."

The season 2 finale saw the indomitable team go their separate ways after solving the mystery behind the Spanish Consular's missing baby. With Kreizler leaving for Vienna with Karen Stratton, Sara forming her own detective agency and John expecting a baby with his fiancé Violet, it would surely take a particularly gruesome case to reunite them all in a future season.

Why isn't The Alienist Season 3 happening yet?

It's been quite a while since "The Alienist: Angel of Darkness" wrapped up its eight-episode run on TNT, with the finale airing on August 9, 2020. Unfortunately, since there's been no news on whether "The Alienist" Season 3 has been given the green light or if it's been canceled by the network. Usually, if a series is popular enough to warrant another installment, networks are keen to keep the momentum going. 

Unfortunately, a third season of the turn-of-the-century set dark crime drama seems highly unlikely in the light of some corporate decisions. After the merger of media companies that resulted in Warner Bros. Discovery, the new conglomerate looked to cut costs, and got rid of a lot of shows. Warner-owned TNT got out of the original scripted series sector entirely in January 2023, canceling and declining to broadcast Season 4 of "Snowpiercer," according to The Hollywood Reporter.

What could be explored in The Alienist Season 3?

If "The Alienist" season 3 does get the green light from TNT, it's possible that it'll delve into new territory from the writers of the show rather than the next book from Caleb Carr. The third novel in the Kreizler series, titled "Surrender, New York," is set in the present day rather than the 19th century and follows Dr. Trajan Jones as he brings his controversial methods to a rural town. The only real connection to the characters of the first two books is that Jones happens to be an expert on Kreizler's life and his work.

But as Variety reported back in 2017, "Surrender, New York" has already been commissioned for a series from Fox. It's possible that in the time since the project's conception, that the rights could have changed hands but it seems unlikely at the moment. If TNT did adapt "Surrender, New York" into "The Alienist" Season 3, it could easily use flashbacks to the original cast to help tell its modern story.

If not, then the writers would have to come up with an entirely new idea for the series or focus on other members of the supporting cast. Our choice? Give Bitsy Sussman the spotlight as she takes over the detective agency from Sara Howard. Unfortunately, only time will tell if TNT wants to see more from "The Alienist" or not.

Who would star in The Alienist Season 3?

Depending on the direction of "The Alienist" Season 3, presumably producers and showrunners would want to continue following the characters audiences have fallen for over the two seasons so far. And the stars themselves are clearly interested in reprising their roles, as Luke Evans told Collider in 2020 that he loves playing John Moore.

"They all have the potential to carry a storyline again, further and further — some other story, some other plot, some other twist, some other murder, some other sinister subject matter. I love playing John. If that happened, then yeah, it'd be great."

If Luke Evans is onboard for season 3, chances are Daniel Brühl and Dakota Fanning would be too — since they all have an excellent on-screen dynamic. If TNT does wait a little longer to return to "The Alienist," maybe bringing in another well-known star to go up against the trio as a killer or a villain would help draw more eyes to the series.

Where to watch previous seasons of The Alienist

Known at the time as Warner Bros., the media giant launched a streaming service in 2020 to compete with the likes of Netflix and Hulu. Full of content produced by its studios and airing on cable networks under the Warner corporate umbrella, HBO Max's launch lineup included many high-profile and prestige series. Among them were the first season of "The Alienist," according to TheWrap. Season 2 had yet to air, but when it did, the new installments joined the first season on HBO Max (later rebranded as Max).

As of April 2023, both Season 1 and Season 2 of "The Alienist" remain on Max, included in the library available to paid subscribers. Because it's a TNT-branded production, "The Alienist" is also accessible through cable providers, offered through its parent network's on-demand services, including on Hulu with Live TV and DirecTV Stream. Viewers may even find the book-based "The Alienist" in part on Hoopla, which provides digital content to a consortium of libraries.