HBO Will Tout Westworld’s Long-Awaited Return During Its First Super Bowl Ad in 20 Years

Season 2 will air this spring

Westworld, which aired its last new episode in December 2016, will return for Season 2 this spring. John P. Johnson/HBO
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After a two-decade hiatus, HBO is returning to the Super Bowl.

The premium cable network will run an ad for the upcoming second season of its sci-fi western Westworld in Sunday’s game, as first reported by Entertainment Weekly.

The spot, which is directed by Westworld co-creator Jonathan Nolan, will combine scenes from Season 2 with footage shot exclusively for the Super Bowl ad.

Westworld fans have been waiting more than a year for the next season as Nolan and his co-creator, Lisa Joy, decided to write the entire season ahead of production. That allowed them to avoid a repeat of the first season’s snafus: production was shut down part way through the season, so that the writers could recalibrate storylines.

The show’s first season ended in December 2016. HBO hasn’t revealed an exact release date yet for Season 2, but the network indicated during the Television Critics Association’s winter press tour last month that it would come out in spring.

With the final season of Game of Thrones delayed until 2019, Westworld is one of HBO’s most anticipated series this year. Season 1 averaged 12 million viewers across all platforms, making it the most-watched first season ever for an HBO original series.

This is the first HBO Super Bowl ad in 20 years for the network, which previously ran brand-focused spots in 1997 and 1998. The Sopranos didn’t debut on the network until a year later, in 1999. Here’s what the 1997 Super Bowl spot looked like:

Two of HBO’s premium competitors will also be running ads during Sunday’s game. Hulu has produced a creepy spot for its upcoming series Castle Rock, while Amazon Prime Video is airing its first-ever Super Bowl ad for Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan.

@jasonlynch Jason Lynch is TV Editor at Adweek, overseeing trends, technology, personalities and programming across broadcast, cable and streaming video.