The Wheel of Time is changing things up a bit for season 2, which is currently in production. The Amazon Prime Video series premiered to good notices and enough viewing numbers to be renewed for another two seasons, and according to showrunner Rafe Judkins, episodes are about to get longer. Judkins responded to a fan question via Twitter and although The Wheel of Time season 2 will have the same number of episodes as the first (eight), episodes will apparently have more run time.
According to CBR, The Wheel of Time’s first season had episodes that generally pushed the hour-mark; this presumably means that season 2 episodes will be breaking that, although it is not clear by exactly how much. The shift in television programming from traditional airing to streaming has altered exactly how long the standard for an episode of television is. While the general rule of thumb is that comedies clock in at 30 minutes (which boils down to 18-23 minutes of content with commercial breaks) and dramas are typically set at an hour (between 37-42 of content), most streamers currently do not break up episodes of original with ads. All this is to say, The Wheel of Time season 2 episodes could get pretty long.
One model for The Wheel of Time season 2 episodes could be the recent fourth season of Netflix’s mammoth hit Stranger Things. Episodes of that show frequently went over an hour, with the ninth episode “The Piggyback” landing with a staggering 2 hours and 30 minutes. There is no indication that The Wheel of Time is looking to do the same with season 2 episodes of the fantasy series, but now that that dam has been broken by Stranger Things, other shows will no doubt follow suit.
The Wheel of Time is adapted from the popular and massive series of books of the same name by Robert Jordan. Although originally envisioned as six-volume series, The Wheel of Time eventually stretched into fourteen books, so there is more than enough material to adapt season 2 (or 3 or more). Both the book and television series are set in a fantasy world still recovering from a long-ago disaster, in which men capable of channeling the “One Power,” led by a man known as the Dragon, ravaged utter destruction after being driven mad by the Dark One, a cosmic being of utter evil separated from the universe. Since then, only women (known as Aes Sedai) can channel the One Power, with some of them going so far as to hunt down and “gentle” men who have the capability.
The first season of The Wheel of Time primarily concerned Moiraine Damodred (Rosamund Pike), an Aes Sedai on a quest to discover the prophesied reincarnation of the Dragon. The Wheel of Time season 2 will presumably pick up with Moraine and the rest of the characters continuing their battle against the Dark One and his forces in the world. Only this time, episodes will be longer.