Will The Young Pope be a hit for HBO?


Does the Jude Law starring The Young Pope have what it takes to be a success for HBO?

It doesn’t really feel like The Young Pope is getting all the attention that it deserves. Some of that could be because the series isn’t an original HBO production, but is instead partly produced by them. Yes, the network has been showing the new trailer and we were recently taken behind the scenes of the first season. But for a series with such a mighty cast, The Young Pope isn’t the talk of the town. Yet.

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Hopefully that will change. The series currently has an 83 on Rotten Tomatoes, so we’re not so concerned with critical reception. The Young Pope has all of the calling cards of an arty, under the radar show. Its cast is what is elevating it to the level of relative public knowledge. There are some out there that are probably only going to see the series as a stop-gap before Game of Thrones and Westworld comes back. And also something that happens to be on with Big Little Lies.

There is, however, something freeing about knowing that the fate of The Young Pope does not rely on HBO’s ratings. While it would be great if the series ended up performing well, it’s an international production and a second season is already in the works. Fate decided, at least for now.

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It’s going to be interesting to see how the religious bent is going to work out in terms of viewership. It’s going to be an over the top affair, that’s for sure. A review from The Guardian called the show “thoughtful and visually arresting.” That’s the sort of work that director Paolo Sorrentino is known for, but it’s not always the sort of work that attracts great ratings.

Come January, we’ll be able to see if The Young Pope is able to hold its own.