Here's Why HBO Ordered A Second Season Of 'The Leftovers'

Rising viewership could be one of the many reasons HBO picked up the bleak series for a second season.

Here's Why HBO Ordered A Second Season Of 'The Leftovers'
HBO / "The Leftovers"

If you've been keeping up with HBO's new series "The Leftovers," you'll note that unanswered questions are being compounded on top of each other.  

Seven episodes in and we know two percent of the world's population has mysteriously disappeared, there's a chain-smoking cult that won't let people forget the disappearance and pretty much every single character in and around Mapleton, New York has been at their respective tipping points since episode one. (Via via HBO / "The Leftovers")

And that's about it! But HBO announced Wednesday viewers will be served another heart-wrenching helping of "The Leftovers" when it returns for a second season — and here are a few reasons why it's getting renewed. 

The show has been divisive. A writer for Vulture called it "all bleakness all the time" while an Entertainment Weekly writer led with this after the fifth episode: "That’s it. I quit. No more."

Those that praise the show have admitted to its ominousness hovering over Mapleton like a dark cloud, and proclaimed its brilliance in the same breath: "It’s a haunting and heartsick show ... and I won’t be surprised if it becomes one of the best series of 2014."

The loved/hated show's ratings have reportedly snowballed since its less-than-stellar debut. The show came out of the gate with 1.8 million viewers during its initial telecast — compare that to "True Detective's" 2.33 million and the 2.22 million that tuned in for "Game of Thrones" back in 2011. 

The New York Times writes, "The ratings pattern, which showed some loss after the premiere and a more recent build for each episode, is promising for the show’s future."

It doesn't hurt that critics have compared "The Leftovers" to another mysterious and shock-inducing series — "Lost." Damon Lindelof, the co-creator of "Lost," helped adapt "The Leftovers" from the novel by Tom Perrotta. 

"Lost" won several awards, including an Emmy for "Outstanding Drama Series" in 2005 and a Golden Globe for "Best Television Series — Drama" in 2006. 

Although many viewers expressed their distaste for the "Lost" finale, a Los Angeles Times writer explains why "The Leftovers" is a bit more promising. "[It] presents a mystery but seems more concerned with the current lives of the characters rather than the ultimate solution. ... In other words, don't hold your breath for an explanation of what happened to all those vanished people."

Finally, Indiewire reports there's an allure to lengthy series. Before the renewal was announced Wednesday, the writer said re-ordering a show "reassures [a network] that their investment in it won't be short-term."

I'm on board for a second season, but I'm siding with a Bustle writer who makes one stand-out request to be fulfilled in these last three episodes.

"Can’t we get just a teensie weensie bit more information sometimes? Just occasionally?"

"The Leftovers" season one finale is scheduled to air Sept. 7.