13 Reasons Why creator Brian Yorkey will return as showrunner of the series, from Paramount Television and Anonymous Content. Its third season is slated to begin filming later this year without original star Katherine Langford, who recently confirmed that she would be leaving after playing the tragic Hannah for the first two seasons.
Yorkey, Joy Gorman, Mandy Teefey, Kristel Laiblin, Tom McCarthy, Selena Gomez and Steve Golin are returning as executive producers.
The renewal comes less than a month after the May 18 debut of Season 2. 13 Reasons Why is one of Netflix’s most popular shows, with the current second season topping various rankings of the most streamed series for the weeks since its release. The second season drew an average minute audience of 2.6 million in the U.S. during the first three days after its debut, according to Nielsen, with the premiere episode pulling in 6 million viewers in three days.
Despite 13 Reasons Why‘s strong ratings and social media performance and its formidable place in the cultural zeitgeist, there had been some questions whether Netflix would proceed with a third season over the show’s subject matter. The series, which deals with teen suicide, bullying, drunk driving and rape in graphic detail, has been criticized by some mental health experts who say it could pose health risks for certain young people, especially those with suicidal thoughts.
To confront that, Netflix earlier this year added new title cards with advisories that played before Season 1 episodes and introduced a new level of warning beginning with Season 2. The streaming service also made a PSA video that autoplays in advance of the first episode in each season.
As for Season 3, Yorkey shared some clues about his plans at a Netflix FYC panel Friday.
“What happened to Hannah will always be the first clause of the story,” he said. “The rest of the story is about young people, as so many young people, maybe all young people today (learn) how to heal from the things that have hurt them…to make the world that they want it to be, not just the world they are inheriting…and above all, how to take care of each other.”
At the same event, Langford bid farewell to the show, on which she starred alongside Dylan Minnette, Alisha Boe, Miles Heizer and Derek Luke.
“I think 13 Reasons Why will always be an important part of my life. It was the first job I ever had,” she said, adding that she planned to maintain her connection with the show’s fans “even if it’s in a small capacity, on social media.”