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American Rust Season 2 - What We Know So Far

"American Rust" premiered on September 12, 2021 on Showtime. It's based on Philip Myers' 2009 novel of the same name and set in the ideal place for a crime show: a struggling Western Pennsylvania Rust Belt town where desperation drives people to crime. It starred Jeff Daniels in the lead role, the morally conflicted and ultimately compromised chief of police Del Harris. If that description makes you think of another 2021 Pennsylvania crime drama series on a premium cable network that starred an award-winning actor, i.e. "Mare of Easttown," you wouldn't be the first person to make that comparison.

While "American Rust's" Season 1 ratings weren't exactly robust (via TV Series Finale), and even though it fully adapted the source material from Myers' book, the show still left plenty of room for Season 2 and beyond. It's been a few weeks since "American Rust" aired its Season 1 finale episode on November 7, and here's everything we know so far about a possible Season 2.

What is the release date for American Rust Season 2?

At this point, Showtime hasn't yet decided to cancel or renew "American Rust" for a second season, so there's no announced release date. Best we can do is speculate when Season 2 might be available based on Season 1's production timeline — with the caveat that Season 1 was filmed during the COVID-19 pandemic, which means that any hypothetical future production timelines could look a lot different.

After spending a few years in development hell, "American Rust" got the series order from Showtime back in July 2019 (via Variety). After multiple pandemic-related delays, Season 1 finally began filming in March 2021 (via Trib-Live), and premiered the following September. 

So, since it took about six months between the start of production and the premiere, the earliest we could get Season 2 would be six months from when Showtime picks it up. Six months from now is June 2022.

Who is in the cast of American Rust Season 2?

If "American Rust" does get a Season 2, most likely there would be at least a few additions to the cast. Until that happens, all we can say is that in a hypothetical second season, the main characters who survived Season 1 should be back for the encore.

That includes Jeff Daniels as Police Chief Del Harris; Maura Tierney as his love interest and warehouse worker Grace Poe; Alex Neustaedter as her son, Billy (who's currently in a coma — more on him below); and Mark Pellegrino as Billy's father and Grace's husband Virgil. There's also David Alvarez Billy's best friend Alex English; Bill Camp as Alex's father Henry; and Julie Mayorga as Alex's sister (and Billy's ex-girlfriend) Lee. Finally. Rob Yang will most likely be back as Del's deputy Steve Park, in what would likely be a bigger role in Season 2 — see below. 

What is the plot of American Rust Season 2?

As we noted in our writeup of whether "American Rust" would get a second season, Season 1 ended on so many cliffhangers that it's pretty obvious where the show might go next. The big development is that, after spending Season 1 investigating Billy for the murder of cop-turned-drug dealer Steve Novick, Del finds himself now covering up a triple homicide that he himself committed. If you didn't see it, Del was forced to kill two of Novick's associates as well as their 87-year-old cousin in self-defense. At the end of Season 1, Del's deputy Steve Park (Robert Yang) was suspicious of Del's involvement in the killings. So, in a hypothetical Season 2, Del would find himself in Billy's shoes, with Steve Park playing the Del role. Del also found at the end of Season 2 that Novick's real killer was Billy's friend Isaac English (David Alvarez), and that Isaac killed Novick to protect Billy. Del decided to cover up Isaac's involvement. So, in Season 2, Del will be a very busy man. 

Otherwise, things are plenty dramatic in the Poe household — which technically doesn't exist any more. Billy's mother Grace burned down her own house to give her an excuse to get closer to Del. She was also trying to unionize the workers at the warehouse where she worked, an effort that ultimately failed. Finally, Billy himself received a nasty prison beat-down that left him in a coma. All in all, there's plenty of story that "American Rust" Season 2 could pick up.