HBO’s ‘Looking’ Renewed for Second Season


HBO's Looking has been renewed, Variety reports:

“Looking” premiered last month to a small audience, but has grown its audience with each of its last three episodes. The pickup comes as HBO sorts out its comedy slate with a renewal last week for “Getting On,” and cancellations after maiden seasons for comedies “Hello Ladies” and “Family Tree.”

Actors Lauren Weedman, Raul Castillo and Russell Tovey have been upped to series regular status. Jonathan Groff, Frankie Alvarez and Murray Bartlett play the show’s core trio.

THR adds:

Looking, which did not have the strongest start in January when it debuted to 338,000 viewers, has improved significantly. After a few weeks of dips, the most recent episode (Feb. 23) averaged a series high 519,000 viewers. Like all HBO series, it has drawn its greatest audience in gross views — that includes originals, replays, On Demand, HBO Go — with a season-to-date score of two million weekly viewers.

Season 2 is scheduled to start shooting later this year. No word on if it will be expanding the number of episodes.


  1. says

    That’s disappointing to read. We stopped watching after the second episode, “Looking for Uncut,” continued to perpetuate the urban myth that intact men aren’t “clean.”

    Plus the show in general was a pretentious bore that pushed an image of the gay community as commitment-phobic, drug-obsessed men who spend all their nights looking for new hook-ups to have anonymous sex with.

    Most gay people I know have a lot more depth to their personality and a wider range of interests outside of bars and random sex.

  2. crispy says

    “I was wondering what it was, besides being a waste of time.”

    And yet you watch every episode… we can only assume because you haven’t got much going on with your valuable time.

  3. Tony Diaz says

    The best news I’ve heard today. Love the show, and I’m glad they’re giving it a second season. Can’t wait to see how things develop with the characters. Btw, I want to marry Jonathan Groff. I know he’s available.

  4. Jose Arribas says

    This show has grown on me exponentially. It started quite slow and I almost gave up on it but now it’s one of my must-sees of the week. Will be sad when it finishes its first season run in a few weeks.

  5. HarleyDog says

    Can’t imagine why someone is “disappointed” to hear that the show has been renewed. Good grief, just don’t watch it! I am personally delighted because each week the show has gotten better and better. Glad to see Russell Tovey will be a series regular.

  6. Simon says

    More silly comments. “Sex obsessed?” Most of the air time seems to be taken up with the characters’ career issues and with their search for a lasting relationship. The story of Dom is that of a guy who is aging out of the promiscuous lifestyle and looking for something more meaningful. And the fact that Richie will be included in the second season means that Patrick will continue to seek a relationship with him. Drugs? What drug use was ever shown other than a couple of scenes where joints were smoked? Sometimes I feel that the people posting the stranger comments must be high.

  7. Perry says

    @Ernie It is cool to see I have gotten into your head. You obviously have nothing better to do with your life.

    It is a shame this show got renewed. It takes away a timeslot from possible other shows that are actually worth watching.

  8. bicuriousus says

    I’m so happy!

    Don’t forget people complained about The Wire during the first season and it went on to become, to quote Terry Gross “the most complex and full example of dramatic expression since Shakespeare.”

    Complex forms of expression take time to develop and build. That is the beauty and strength over film of the long running television series.

  9. steve says

    congratulations to the cast and crew! I’ve only watched the first episode but I liked the overall tone of the show that I’ve seen so far. I certainly identify with it more than Queer as Folk and whatever other gay programming is around. Although, still would rather watch RPDR probably.

  10. tyto says

    Got to also note that it debuted right in the midst of a series of Sunday night Award Shows, the Super Bowl and the Olympics. That’s a lot of competitive appointment viewing – and it’s grown its audience while engendering some great cultural conversations. So glad to have something on TV that’s gay and that DOESN”T have Andy Cohen’s hand in it.

  11. crispy says

    “I agree with Nathan and Adam. Spot on.”

    Hardly. Nathan’s comments is so far off what the show is about, he doesn’t warrant a response. But I’ll give one.

    There was nothing in episode 2 suggesting uncut men are unclean. He imagined that. Patrick was actually looking forward to being with an uncut man.

    As for the rest of his silly complaints, Patrick is now in a relationship, hardly commitment phobic. The only drug anyone has been shown taking on this show is pot, which even the president has said is no big deal. There’s no GHB, meth, Ecstasy or cocaine anywhere to be found on this show. And sure, there’s sex on this show including hook-ups, but nothing at all unrealistic unless you have some sort of internalized homophobia that causes you to blanch at gay sex.

  12. HarleyDog says

    “It takes away a timeslot from possible other shows that are actually worth watching.” Oh give me an effing break. Boy, that 27 minutes really deprives us of quality programming. I really wonder why this show, more than any other, has chapped some people’s asses on this forum?

  13. AFan says

    Congrats to them!
    I totally dig this show.
    It’s kind of like hanging with friends and hearing how their day went.

    But if you’re a self-obsessed attention whore, I can see how you wouldn’t like it.

  14. says

    one side says “they’re bad! they’re sex obsessed and do drugs!”

    another says “this is so milquetoast, like it was made by boring straight people who’ve never met gay people”

    i dunno. my buddies and i? we have sex. and talk about sex. and enjoy sex. and hang out with other gay men.

    i get it, though. some of you want a show about “gays like you” – but nobody wants to watch a show about about a bunch of anonymous internet-twerps who can’t get laid and blame everyone else who *can* for their sad sack lives.

  15. says

    @Little Kiwi… actually might have an idea there. a show about internet trolls! something could be developed from that, i think!

    i don’t understand why so many people REALLY hate the show. it’s like “i hate it so f’ing much!!!! and….i’ve watched every single episode!” it’s bizarre, and honestly, borderline crazytown.

  16. Arkansassy says

    Please get rid of Patrick…Please get rid of Patrick…Please get rid of Patrick…Please get rid of Patrick…Please get rid of Patrick…Please get rid of Patrick…Puh-leeeeeeaaaaaasssssseeee.

    Seriously though, I hope they take the opportunity to make some changes and fix some of the problems. I would much prefer a show featuring Dom, Scott Bakula, Russell Tovey and Richie.

  17. David says

    So incredibly happy – was genuinely worried that the bitching internet complainers would convince HBO against the truth, which is that this is an excellent show that will only get better with time to grow.

    Also, this is at least 8 more episodes of Raul Castillo’s face, so… score!

  18. Quicksilver says

    @JOE There is nothing crazy about it, dimwad. People kept watching the show to see if something was ever going to happen, and to support one of the few predominantly gay scripted shows out there. The show got renewed because of the increased ratings due to Russell Tovey (who surprise, surprise got promoted to full-time cast member), the explicit gay sex and the improved pacing.

  19. Zlick says

    Though I’m pretty meh on the show, I’m glad of this. It has potential, and hopefully a second season will see great improvement, though I think the pacing of the show will still be stymied by the half hour (or 22-minute) time slot.

    Go back and watch just about ANY of your favorite show’s First Seasons and you’ll see that, 99% of the time, it was a mess that did not gel yet and seems so weird in retrospect. I hope for the same in “Looking” and really hope the show gains some footing and improvement.

    I know fans like it, and I don’t bemoan that … but when (anecdotaly at least) half the audience doesn’t – there’s room and necessity for improvement.

  20. disgusted american says

    well I for one Love the show — sure its no QAF…but its NOT supposed to be…I like watching Regular gay people / living thier regular lives like everyone else – trying to get by, fall in love..etc etc…..I dont need to see twinks / and go-go boys in silver shorts….I think the show Fits the narrative now in America..they we’re Just like everyone else…American citizens who just happen to love the same gender…and have the same problems& insecurities all of us come across in life…

  21. says

    my opinion is that it is absolutely crazy and maybe that’s just me.

    yeah i’ll watch something to see if i like it. if i’m bored, there’s a good chance i won’t watch it again. especially because….i don’t know….there are a million other things to do in this world that would be enjoyable and worth my time.

    secondly, even if i did watch it again, i’m pretty sure that after two times, that’d be it. we’re 6 episodes in and people are still complaining. i mean, isn’t that the modernized version of the definition of insanity? doing something over and over expecting a different result?

    -dimwad (i didn’t know anyone was still using that term since about 1990 but more power to you)

  22. ScottCA says

    It started slow and boring with three characters who seem implausible as best friends. Now its slow and boring with three characters who seem implausible as best friends.

  23. JonnyNYNY2FLFL says

    Thank you, QUICKSILVER. I agree that many of us are pleased HBO has a gay-focused series & continue to watch, even though we think it sorely misses the mark. I’m sure any ratings increase is due in part to the polarizing effect of the positive vs negative buzz the show engenders. Many new viewers may want to decide for themself.

    I find it strange that so many comments on this blog attack the viewer personally rather than express their opinion of the show. Just because it’s about gays doesn’t mean it gets a pass automatically.

    Maybe some of the criticisms will be addressed next season. Personally, I believe there are so many flaws in character development, tone, and direction, HBO would be better off cutting its losses & starting with a clean slate.

    BTW: “The WIRE” was a great show early on. I watched “TheWIRE”. “LOOKING” is no the “The WIRE”

  24. crispy says

    “The show got renewed because of the increased ratings due to Russell Tovey (who surprise, surprise got promoted to full-time cast member), the explicit gay sex and the improved pacing.”


    It got renewed because the ratings increase each week, suggesting a growing audience. And because it’s become part of the cultural conversation, which is as important to HBO as the ratings are.

  25. Scar2 says

    I’m pretty happy. I know it’s not for everyone. I hope they won’t feel the pressure to make it less ‘boring.’ I like the pace the way it is. I do hope they’ll expand it to 12 episodes next season.

  26. AmericanDreamer says

    I have no doubt in mind the writers for the show read comments on blogs like these and understand they need to make the show more riveting in the next season so I think we can look forward to a better show next season

  27. SFshawn says

    Looking forward to them filming in my great city again. Congrats to the actors and HBO for all their hard work. Hopefully the show will continue to just let the haters hate and take the CONSTRUCTIVE feedback and move forward. Many self-loathing/closeted gays will NEVER be satisfied with ANY positive or affirming representation of gay male sexuality or intimacy on the big screen. The opposite of love is not hate,it is FEAR and for those who don’t live their truth(open and honest about their sexuality) nothing angers and frustrates them more then to see other openly gay men living and loving their lives and their innate sexuality. I’m one of those guys that wishes it was even MORE sexual like the new movie “Stranger by the Lake”.
    Thanks HBO.

  28. Saturnalia says

    I am so happy. I have been enamored by this series.

    It is a joy to wach, for once, something that feels authentic, literary like a documentary, with interesting character dynamic and literary owerflowing with great performance by a cast that simply exudes talent and charisma.

    Tovey, who I know from Horror movies is fantastical, and possesses such a presence on screen, I am blown away by the subtlety and realness. Castillo is a real find, I am so happy that he is being promoted to regular because I was afraid they will ditch his characxter, a magnificent performer.

  29. Mark says

    Love the show! I think it’s great on many different levels–but I am a huge fan of the film “Weekend” as well. Looking is very similar to the UK version of Queer as Folk–which explains why many US viewers find it “boring”. This is definitely for those who have an attention span and aren’t just watching for hot guys and sex scenes. It makes me miss SF and the days of meeting someone amazing and getting to know them. A lot of the friend issues are very real–but I also see a little myself in each character at some point in time. The last episode had me thinking long after the episode was over. Great job and congrats! :)

  30. Samuel says

    Yes!! I’m stoked to read this news!

    (P.s. The dude who thinks Looking is a show about men obsessed with drugs and the next random hook up, has clearly not watched it, and should be ignored.)

  31. Icebloo says

    I would like to see the three main actors written out and replaced by interesting characters. Jonathan Groff is the most annoying actor I have seen in many years. He is TERRIBLE and too over the top. His pathetic attempts to appear naive and innocent and his constant talking with his mouth full are too much to watch.

    I am VERY pleased Raul Castillo has been elevated to a main character. I think this guy is a great actor & I like his character the best. I look forward to following his career.

  32. SpaceCadet says

    Congrats to the show and everyone involved with it. The ratings for the last 3 episodes show a dramatic upswing in ratings. I’m still not adding HBO until GoT returns but then I can have a viewing marathon of Looking!

  33. lg says

    Good for you, Nathan!
    There ARE other kinds of gays in the World. Suggestion: Write your own telly show.
    I have found the show interesting and yes, a bit erotic.

  34. Ryan Murphy says

    Whaaatt! I can’t believe this show got renewed when literally it had zero people watching it and then it went further down into negative figures each week.

    It is so unrealistic. Everyone knows that gay men wear bow ties and zazzy colour combinations that pop (like Blaine off Glee) and break out into spontaneous song and dance numbers at the slightest provocation. I’ve watched every episode twice and there’s no bow ties, and no singing and dancing. Why not?? Also, where are all the camp zingers? I want my gay guys to be entertaining and sassy, just like Joan Crawford or Bette Davis.

    Also, none of these guys are hot enough and there is not enough nudity. Also, they are so old! Nobody wants to watch gay guys once they get past 25. Really! HBO you could do so much better. I have a few ideas for a really relevant and exciting show called “Mr Shuster Comes Out on Broadway”. It will feature a nearly naked Matthew Morrison navigating the techni-color-world that is Off-Broadway while sleeping with 10 different guys per episode. Interested? Drop me a line. Ryan

  35. John says

    I really enjoy the show – I like the slow pacing – for me, it underscores the monotonous live of those who are ‘looking’, which is kind of the point. My husband doesn’t much care for it – largely because it is too slow. Everyone is entitled to their opinion. If hubby doesn’t want to continue to watch it, I’ll record it and watch it when he’s playing Angry Birds.

  36. Ben says

    I don’t get why so many queens are complaining about this show. I don’t even live in USA and I can relate with a lot of the situations and some of the characters of the show including the main character Patrick. I love that it shows real men with hairy bodies and the awkward situations during dates. Most queens want to be portrayed as waxed,white and wealthy whores clubbing all week long. Guess what? That’s not the reality.

    I remember that even before the show aired noisy queens where accusing the show for not been race diverse. Turned out it is one of the most racially diverse shows right now: asian, blacks, latinos, europeans, white. I also like that it portrays working real gay men.

    So to the HBO interns that reads these blogs keep bringing the real gay men that you are portraying right now.

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