'Cruel Summer' season 2 is entirely shaking things up

Yes, 'Cruel Summer' season 2 is returning for more drama, but don't expect *anything* to look the same

Chiara Aurelia
(Image credit: Courtesy: Freeform/Bill Matlock)

Wave goodbye to Kate and Jeanette. Cruel Summer season 2 will look a lot different than its predecessor. 

Though fans were engrossed with the goings-on in Skylin, Texas, even so much as predicting Cruel Summer theories for the next installment, it looks like the teen mystery is going to start from scratch when it returns to screens later this year. 

According to an exclusive reveal from The Hollywood Reporter, the second season is currently in production and overhauling the breakout hit as we know. This time around, viewers can expect a new cast, storyline and showrunner. 

Although this might be somewhat shocking for fans, it's something we probably should have seen coming. In 2021, then-showrunner, Tia Napolitano, sat down with Entertainment Weekly and confessed that plans were up in the air. 

"We know we’re going to deliver a super-twisty mystery, we know we’re going to live with some interesting characters and their psychology and talk about some important stuff like we did with grooming in season 1," she told the outlet "Other than that, it’s completely open-ended at this point."

So, what will things look like this time? We'll tell you everything you need to know.

'Cruel Summer' season 2: what we know so far

Nostalgia 2000s incoming! Cruel Summer will revisit one of our favorite decades, and a love triangle between teens—Megan, Isabella and Luke—will be the core focus. Given how much we appreciated the recent Bridgerton love triangle, we're all for one with a Y2K angle. (Though we might not necessarily get a happily-ever-after this go-around.)

You can also expect a change of locations as well. We previously visited the fictional town of 1990s Skylin, Texas, in the debut season, but now we're venturing over to the Pacific Northwest.

To give fans a bit of a hint—and up the anticipation—have a look at the show's recent announcement on Instagram. Dare we say trouble will loom over AIM conversations? (Oh, memories.

'Cruel Summer' season 2 cast and crew

Chiara Aurelia (Jeanette) and Olivia Holt (Kate) are not expected to return, though originally we expected to see Holt again. According to THR, the season one cast was made aware of the possible changes, so nothing came as a surprise. At this time, the only recurring character is Paul Adelstein. 

The new cast is as follows: 

  • Sadie Stanley
  • Eloise Payet
  • Griffin Gluck
  • KaDee Strickland
  • Lisa Yamada
  • Sean Blakemore

Elle Triedman is expected to step into the role of showrunner. The studio eOne project will be executive produced by Bill Purple, Napolitano, and Iron Ocean Productions’ Jessica Biel and Michelle Purple. 

When will 'Cruel Summer' season 2 premiere?

Although a specific date has yet to be revealed, the show promises to make a return in 2022. If we're willing to bet, we'll see the final project in the late summer. 

Until more news becomes available, catch up with Cruel Summer season 1 on Hulu or watch Candy, Jessica Biel's new true-crime drama when it hits Hulu on May 9. 

Although characters and plots change, stories differentiate from books and release dates get tossed around, one thing is for certain: our 2022 TV lineup has been pretty entertaining thus far!

Danielle is a writer for woman&home and My Imperfect Life, covering all-things news, lifestyle and entertainment. 


The heart of her time at Future has been devoted to My Imperfect Life, where she's been attuned to the cosmos and honed in on astrology coverage within the Life vertical. She's partial to writing pieces about the next big TV obsession—anyone else impatiently waiting for "Conversations with Friends"—and keeping you up to date on new trends like the latest must-have from Zara. 


Before her time at Future, Danielle was the editor of Time Out New York Kids and a news editor at Elite Daily. Her work has also appeared in Domino, Chowhound, amNewYork and Newsday, among other outlets. 


When Danielle is not working, you can usually find her reading a new book, coffee at hand, or attempting a new recipe. (Recommendations always welcome!)