7 Surprise TV Hits of 2021 That Are Back for a Second Season

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Most television producers can predict if a show will be popular. For example, The Rings of Power is backed by clever marketing and nostalgia, so everyone expected it to attract big numbers. Other times, producers are shocked when a new IP becomes a cultural phenomenon.

7 Television Hits in 2021 That No One Saw Coming

The following television hits completely blew pre-premiere expectations. No one expected shows like Squid Game, Ginny & Georgia, and Bling Empire to be popular, but they were.

1. Squid Game

Squid game is a South Korean survival drama that revolves around a deadly contest, but you probably already know that. This show was released worldwide on September 17th, 2021, to critical acclaim and international attention. It became the top-viewed program in 94 countries.

In June 2022, Netflix confirmed that an upcoming Squid Game season was in the works. Squid Game season 2 should be released worldwide by late 2023 or early 2024 only on Netflix.

2. Young Royals

Young Royals is an LGBTQ+ teen drama set at a fictional elite boarding school called Hillerska. The series tells the story of Prince Wilhelm of Sweden's gay romance with Simon Eriksson, a fellow student. Audiences tuned in because the budding relationship was truly intriguing.

Although the first season only had 6 episodes, Young Royals attracted enough attention to be renewed for a second season. If all goes right, season 2 will be released November 1st, 2022.

3. Ginny & Georgia

Ginny & Georgia revolves around 15-year-old Ginny, who feels like she’s more mature than her mother, and Georgia, Ginny’s irresistible and dynamic 30-year-old mum. Ginny and Georgia’s commanding screen presence and incredible chemistry made this series an instant hit.

In April 2021, Netflix confirmed that Ginny & Georgia was renewed for a second season. As of writing, there isn't a lot of information surrounding or discussing the upcoming season.

4. Bling Empire

Bling Empire is a reality series focusing on wealthy and materialistic East/Southeast Asian socialites in the Los Angeles area. This surprise TV hit was the first US reality television show that featured a full cast of East and Southeast Asians living within the United States.

If you’re craving a second season of Bling Empire, you can watch it now on Netflix. The entire third season premiered on October 5th, 2022, so you already have plenty of content to enjoy.

5. Shadow and Bone

Shadow and Bone is based on two series of books: one of the same name and the Six of Crows duology. The series adapts the story of Alina Starkov, a cartographer of the Ravka nation’s First Army. This series was beloved by fans of the novels and, surprisingly, non-fans of the books.

Netflix confirmed there would be a second season in June 2021, which is set to premiere in 2023. But if you can’t wait until then, you can read the Shadow and Bone series instead.

6. What If…?

What If…? shouldn’t be on this list because it’s based on a Marvel property. However, a report by Diesel Labs showed that this series, which explores alternative timelines in the Marvel multiverse, had little buzz before its release. Fortunately, audiences quickly fell in love with it.

A second nine-episode season is expected to premiere in 2023 and will play a role in Phase Five. The series was praised for its animation, voice acting, scenarios, and creative storylines.

7. Only Murders in the Building

Only Murders in the Building is a mystery comedy-drama television series that follows three strangers who share an interest in true crime. They come together to investigate a death in their apartment building. Only Murders in the Building is a great addition to crime fiction and comedy.

Similar to Bling Empire, the second season is already out. Released on June 28th, 2022, it received great reviews from audiences. In July 2022, the series was renewed once again.