Cruel Summer Season 2 Will Be A Total Reboot With New Showrunner And Cast

Freeform's teen thriller "Cruel Summer" has officially rebranded itself as an anthology series for its second season. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the show's sophomore season will include an all-new cast and showrunner, an option that was apparently floated early on and made official between seasons.

"Cruel Summer" told a fairly self-contained story in its dramatic, twist-filled first season, which told the story of a popular girl's abduction and an outcast girl's assumption of her role in her stead. The series used a unique narrative structure, with episodes showing the same day in each of the characters' lives in three different years. This premise seems built for anthology storytelling, as plenty of unique mysteries can be doled out slowly across three timelines.

A unique anthology premise

The show's second season is reportedly beginning production, and the news of the overhaul comes with a new cast list. Sadie Stanley ("The Goldbergs") will star as a computer-savvy honor student named Megan, whose life changes drastically when she meets exchange student Isabella (Eloise Payet, in her first major role). Megan is the daughter of foreign diplomats, and she has a secret that the series' trio of timelines will no doubt reveal. "American Vandal" actor Griffin Gluck will play the third corner of a love triangle as Megan's best friend Luke.

The new season is reportedly set in a Pacific Northwest Coastal town around Y2k, as opposed to the first season set in Texas in the early '90s. Plot details don't seem to indicate any link between the two storylines, aside from themes of small-town secrets and female friendships gone wrong. Season one castmates Olivia Holt, Chiara Aurelia, Harley Quinn Smith, Allius Barnes, Blake Lee, Michael Landes, Froy Gutierrez, and Brooklyn Sudano will reportedly not be returning.

The new "Cruel Summer" cast also includes KaDee Strickland ("Private Practice") as Megan's mother, Lisa Yamada ("Little Fires Everywhere") as a popular musical artist, Sean Blakemore ("Greenleaf") as the town sheriff, and Paul Adelstein ("Prison Break") as Luke's father. Funnily enough, the show's second season is an unofficial "Private Practice" reunion, as Strickland, Adelstein, and Gluck all starred in the Shonda Rhimes series.

Former "Grey's Anatomy" producer Tia Napolitano served as showrunner for the first season of "Cruel Summer," and will remain as an executive producer in the show's second season. However, "The Shannara Chronicles" producer Elle Triedman will fill the role of showrunner this time around. A representative for the series told THR that Napolitano helped with "getting season two of 'Cruel Summer up and running," and called the former showrunner "instrumental."

"Cruel Summer" season two does not have an announced release date.