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HBO renews ‘Big Little Lies’ for second season

“Big Little Lies” is getting a little bigger.

HBO announced today that its smash hit limited series will get a second season with seven episodes. When HBO began airing “Big Little Lies” in February, it was expected to be a one-and-done.

The first season of the glossy drama centered on a set of rich and feuding Monterey, California, parents who are all suspects in a crime that occurs in their town. Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman will return as the show’s stars, playing the same characters, and will both again be executive producers. David E. Kelley is to return as the show’s writer, having already written the scripts for the new season.

The new episodes will be based on a story by the Australian author Liane Moriarty, whose book was the inspiration for the first season. HBO did not say when the season would air.

The series’ director, Jean-Marc Vallée, will not return, however. Instead, British director Andrea Arnold, who has directed several episodes of “Transparent,” will fill the role.

Further details about the season were in short supply. Besides Witherspoon and Kidman, the rest of the cast has not be finalized. HBO did say, however, that negotiations were happening and it expected “most of the cast” to be back. The network also would not say if the show would pick up where the first season left off, or start at some other point.

In a statement, Witherspoon said that the new season “gives us the opportunity to delve deeper into the lives of these intriguing and intricate Monterey families and bring more of their stories back to the audience who embraced and championed them.”

Kidman said the second season came as a result of “the overwhelming response by audiences around the world.” And HBO’s president of programming, Casey Bloys, said, “David Kelley wrote beautiful scripts and Reese and Nicole were, once again, a force to be reckoned with, reuniting the cast and recruiting the talented Andrea Arnold to direct.”

“Big Little Lies” garnered good ratings, and a huge critical response. It dominated the limited series category at September’s Emmys ceremony, winning best limited series, best actress for Kidman, best supporting actor awards for Laura Dern and Alexander Skarsgard and best director for Vallée.

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