Fans can’t wait for The Diplomat season 2, and we have some news about what to expect in the new season of the hit Netflix original series. Filming resumed in December 2023 after the resolution of the strikes, and now Netflix has officially confirmed a release timeframe.
The hit Netflix original series starring Keri Russell and Rufus Sewell quickly got picked up for a second season right before the WGA strike in May 2023 and began filming this summer right before the SAG-AFTRA actors’ strike.
In 2023, The Diplomat became one of the hottest shows on Netflix, and fans tuned in for roughly 175 million hours of the series during its first few months on Netflix, making it one of the top shows of the year so far, according to the Netflix Top 10.
Because we’re still quite far from the release date of season 2, we shared everything we know so far in one place. As we learn more about the highly anticipated season 2, we’ll update this story with the most recent information. The latest update was published on Thursday, Jan. 25, 2024.
Everything to know:
The Diplomat season 2 confirmed for release in 2024
On Jan. 23, Netflix revealed in a letter to shareholders that The Diplomat season 2, among other popular titles like Squid Game and The Empress, will return in 2024. It's quite the relief for fans considering a lot of titles have been recently pushed into 2025 after the strikes.
Netflix announced The Diplomat season 2 is officially happening on May 1. That’s a quick renewal for most Netflix shows.
Political thrillers and spy shows are all the rage right now at Netflix, apparently. The Diplomat season 2 was announced just two weeks after its premiere, and it only took five days for The Night Agent to be renewed for season 2 on Netflix.
Here’s what creator Debora Cahn said to Tudum about The Diplomat season 2 renewal:
"“I am thrilled to be headed back for another round of this smart screwball show. Dare I say it’s fun?”"
We were hoping that season 2 could arrive in early 2024, but that's no longer feasible. Even though production has now restarted in the UK after being suspended, and there’s a possibility that there might only be six episodes in the season, instead of eight, the strike delays could still see season 2 arriving by fall 2024 or a little bit later in the year. We'll have to wait and see!
Release Prediction: Late 2024
Season 2 started filming in June 2023
According to What’s on Netflix, production on The Diplomat season 2 began in June 2023. It’s unclear when or how the episodes for the new season were written, but Keri Russell and Rufus Sewell were spotted filming scenes at St. Paul’s Cathedral in early June.
In August 2023, filming on the second season was placed on paused due to the SAG-AFTRA actors’ strike. The series films in the United Kingdom, where Equity generally covers its actors, but the series features SAG-AFTRA performers and is contracted under that union.
Again, it’s unclear how much of the season was filmed prior to being suspended for the strike after only about a month in production. Thankfully, on Nov. 8, the SAG-AFTRA strike reached a resolution, which will allow actors’ to return to filming and promoting projects. The Diplomat officially resumed filming in December 2023.
What’s on Netflix also reports that the second season could contain only six episodes, down two from the first season’s eight-episode order. That could be another consequence of the writers’ strike.
Returning to lead the cast in the starring role, Emmy Award-nominee Keri Russell will once again be playing the iconic Kate Wyler. For her performance in the first season, Russell landed a nomination for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series. What an impressive feat!
Netflix confirmed a few cast members would return in The Diplomat season 2, but there are a few others with their fate up in the air. We shared the cast of The Diplomat season 2 below:
- Keri Russell as Kate Wyler
- Rufus Sewell as Hal Wyler
- David Gyasi as Austin Dennison
- Ali Ahn as Eidra Park
- Rory Kinnear as Nicol Trowbridge
- Ato Essandoh as Stuart Heyford
- Nana Mensah as Billie Appiah
- Celia Imrie as Margaret Roylin
- Michael McKean as President William Rayburn
- Allison Janney as Vice President Grace Penn
On Jan. 25, Netflix announced that Academy Award winner Allison Janney had joined the season 2 cast and that she'll guest-starring in the role of Vice President Grace Penn. You might recognize Janney from her other roles in I, Tonya, The West Wing, and Mom.
Obviously, with how the first season ended, there are a few characters whose fates are up in the air. Those include Hal Wyler and Ato Essandoh’s characters, so there’s a chance that they could be killed off. I don’t think that would happen, though!
I expect we’ll meet a lot more big stars in the second season. Russell even mentioned she wants her real-life husband, Matthew Rhys, to be involved in the second season. The pair starred together on The Americans.
However, Rufus Sewll is the cast member that fans are concerned about most. Hal Wyler’s fate is left up in the air, as mentioned, but we have reason to believe that, yes, Sewell will be in season 2. As mentioned above in the filming section of this update, Sewell was spotted filming season 2 with Russell earlier this summer.
The series isn’t based on a true story
No, The Diplomat is not based on a true story, but it’s inspired by things that actually happened to those working in the State Department, ambassadors, and other diplomats in the government. Cahn told The Los Angeles Times that she felt inspired to make the show after meeting a former ambassador, Beth Jones, while Cahn was working on Homeland.
Cahn told The LA Times:
"“A lot of the stuff that seems the most far-fetched is 100% real. Like the guy dying in [the British foreign secretary’s] office? That happened to Susan Rice, and they had to sneak him out of the building, because he can’t have died there. And still, people from his country are convinced she poisoned him.”"
So, the show is using real events and pulling them into the series, but it’s not based on any one particular person or event.
What happened at the end of season 1?
At the end of the first season, Kate and Dennison realized that Nicol Trowbridge is actually the one responsible for the attack on the British aircraft carrier. He hired Lenkov to pull off the attack to likely unite the United Kingdom under the banner of a cause with an important election looming.
Just after they realize what’s happening, Hal was on his way to meet with a person who claimed to have important information, Merritt Grove. Stuart tried to intervene, and Meritt got spooked, so he fled to his car, which blows up when he gets close to it. Who ordered the car bomb? We don’t know yet, but it appears to be connected to Margaret Roylin and possibly Nicol Trowbridge.
This will likely be the focus of the second season.
What could happen next in season 2?
Spoilers below for The Diplomat season 1!
According to TV Line, The Diplomat season 2 will pick up immediately after the events of the first season. There will not be a time jump or anything like that. It’s all happening right where the first season ends.
The source told TV Line that The Diplomat “has a really compressed timeline. Something like three weeks pass in Season 1. So it makes sense that Season 2 would start moments later.”
Here’s what Cahn said about season 2:
"“I wanted to bring together all of the different dynamics of the political relationships and the personal relationships in one event that splits apart all at the same time.”"
We should see the fallout of the explosion and Dennison and Kate learning that Trowbridge was involved. The trio of Kate, Hal, and Dennison now have to navigate corruption, attempted murder, and even bigger problems involving the US-UK relationship.
It will be really interesting what this means for Kate and Hal, Kate and Dennison, and the potential for more intriguing plot points in the future.
That’s all we know about The Diplomat season 2 so far! Stay tuned for more information about the new season.