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Change is on the menu for the upcoming new season of FX’s summer smash The Bear.
The series, starring Jeremy Allen White as a fine-dining chef running his family’s restaurant following a tragedy, was an immediate hit when all eight episodes of Season 1 landed on Hulu in June 2022.
FX head John Landgraf previously called the show “one of the most commercially successful comedies in both FX and Hulu’s history.” And at the Winter Television Critics Association Press Tour in Pasadena, Calif., on Thursday, Landgraf revealed the final episode of the show was streamed 140,000 times concurrently the morning after its premiere.
So it makes sense that the network is upping the ante for Season 2.
During a TCA panel for The Bear, FX revealed that Season 2 of the show, which is available exclusively on Hulu, will arrive in early 2023 and be expanded to 10 episodes. With the two additional episodes in the new season, viewers will get even more of Carmen “Carmy” Berzatto (White), and the showrunners outlined some new challenges ahead for the chef.
At the TCA panel, showrunners and writers Christopher Storer and Joanna Calo revealed they’ve long had a solid plan for Season 2, which will continue to toe the line between comedy and drama.
“We sort of had a pretty solid map of what was going to happen in Season 2 even before we were done shooting Season 1,” Storer said. “When we all started making the show together, it was so under the radar in Chicago that … it almost felt like a student film in the best possible way.”
Storer remained tight-lipped over plot details for Season 2, but did reveal that viewers will see the cast build a new restaurant.
“Part of the reason why I even wanted to make the show in the first place was I probably become unhealthily obsessed with time in a lot of instances, and it can create anxiety, and there’s no better setting than a restaurant for the pressures of that,” he said. “You’re going to see them build a restaurant, but, ostensibly, they think they’re starting from a healthy place. But a restaurant, like a lot of other businesses, just creates the same amount of problems and the same amount of headaches every day.”
Storer added that the characters would step up in different ways and regress in others, ultimately trying to come together to get the business running.
Expectation is a heavy burden to Bear
Regardless of plot changes, viewers can still expect The Bear to stay true to its tone.
“There was something fun about being able to choose—do we want to lean into comedy or do we want to lean into drama?” Calo said. ”Hopefully, if we got to continue, we would keep kind of picking sides here and there.”
Fresh off of a Golden Globe win for White, The Bear executives aren’t worried about topping Season 1.
“I keep telling everyone it’s going to be bad,” Calo joked. “I’m serious. I tell everyone. I’m like, ‘You’re not going to like it. It’s going to be bad.’”
For Storer, it’s about staying true to the story.
“In terms of pressure, I feel like if we continue to tell an honest story and we try to be low to the ground like we did last time, I at least think our hearts are in the right place,” Storer said.