“Reflecting on [the show’s] humble, run-and-gun origin as a contained pandemic production, it’s impossible not to be awestruck by how Mike orchestrated one of the buzziest and most critically acclaimed shows,” Executive Vice President of HBO Programming, Francesca Orsi, told Variety in November 2022 after the series’ renewal was confirmed.
She continued: “And yet, he’s only continued to reach new heights in season 2, which is the ultimate testament to Mike’s raw, unparalleled vision. His courage to explore the uncharted waters of the human psyche, paired with his signature irreverent humor and buoyant directing style, have us all dreaming of more vacation days at the resort we’ve come to adore. We couldn’t be more thrilled to get the chance to collaborate on a third season together.”
The comedy drama’s first season, which premiered in July 2021, was set at the fictional White Lotus hotel chain’s Hawaii location and featured stars Connie Britton, Sydney Sweeney, Murray Bartlett and more.
Jennifer Coolidge, who won an Emmy for her portrayal of Tanya McQuoid, was one of only two actors from season 1 to return for the next installment, which takes place in Italy. Jon Gries, who plays her husband, also appeared.
White, the series creator, had his reasons for bringing the Best In Show actress back.
“Because the seasons are so thematically different, the locations are different, the cast is generally different, it felt like it would make sense to have somebody be the connective tissue between the two seasons. And if we went to Italy without Jennifer, she would be so mad,” he told Variety in November 2022. “Obviously people loved her, and she’s my friend. So, it just made sense that it would be Jennifer.”
“With all the Twitter-speak of the first season, I didn’t want to do something that we had already done,” he said. “As far as the characters, I wanted to make it just a little less spiky and let their actions speak for some of the ideas I’m trying to go for. What’s fun for me is doing a shape-shifting show and trying not to repeat. You need to have enough that it makes it feel like it’s all of a piece, but the content — and the form itself — can kind of shift and be fresh.”
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Scroll through for everything we know about season 3 of The White Lotus so far: