Proceed with caution: FX and Hulu are developing 2 more seasons of Shōgun

The first season of Shōgun adapted the entirety of James Clavell's 1975 novel, but FX and Hulu are developing more seasons anyway. Good idea, bad idea?
“SHOGUN” -- "A Dream of a Dream" -- Episode 10 (Airs April 23) Pictured (L-R): Hiroto Kanai as Kashigi Omi, Hiroyuki Sanada as Yoshii Toranaga. CR: Katie Yu/FX
“SHOGUN” -- "A Dream of a Dream" -- Episode 10 (Airs April 23) Pictured (L-R): Hiroto Kanai as Kashigi Omi, Hiroyuki Sanada as Yoshii Toranaga. CR: Katie Yu/FX /

Shōgun is a TV adaptation of the 1975 novel of the same name by James Clavell, and pretty much anyone who watched it will tell you it's excellent. Carefully paced and meticulously detailed, it's a gripping period drama about war in 17th century Japan, as observed by an Englishman who finds himself in a very unfamiliar place. The show ends on a perfect note that leaves you wanting more.

...but it doesn't actually give you more, because these first 10 episodes adapt the entirety of Clavell's book. But the show was very successful; according to The Hollywood Reporter, it is the most-watched show in the history of FX. That's apparently too profitable a path for FX and Hulu not to explore, since they're now developing two more seasons.

In the immediate term, this means that Shōgun can now compete in the Best Drama category at the Emmys rather than the Best Limited Series category, becoming a legitimate threat to shows like Fallout, House of the Dragon, or whatever ends up getting nominated. I might go so far as to say it has the award in the bag. The Emmys do love a good period drama.

In the long term, things are murkier. Shōgun creators Justin Marks and Rachel Kondo are both involved in the development process for seasons 2 and 3, as is producer Hiroyuki Sanada, who starred as lead character Lord Yoshii Toranaga. However, just because they're assembling a writers room to explore ideas does not mean that future seasons will ultimately be greenlit. If they don't come up with anything good, we might never see another episode.

And considering that FX spent years developing the first season of Shōgun, and that was with source material to work off, it may be very hard to come up with something worthy to follow up those first 10 episodes.

And ANOTHER THING: Clavell wrote five other books in his "Asian saga," each set in a different time and place with a new set of characters. Adapting one of those seems like the obvious next move, although that wouldn't allow for the return of characters like Toranaga or John Blackthorne. FX is doing what they're doing with it, and time will tell if it was a wise decision.

Every episode of Shōgun, ranked from worst to best. dark. Next. Every episode of Shōgun, ranked from worst to best

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