Police detective Ralph Anderson (Ben Mendelsohn) is still grieving the death of his son when the mutilated body of 11-year-old Frankie Peterson is found in the Georgia woods.
When his prime suspect, Terry Maitland (Jason Bateman), is seemingly in two places at once during the murder, Ralph brings in unorthodox private investigator Holly Gibney (Cynthia Erivo) to help explain the unexplainable.
The Outsider topped IMDb’s Most Popular Show list earlier this year and has an 82% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The show also averaged nine million viewers per episode across all platforms during its USA run. The finale had 2.2m first-day views across all platforms, an 83% increase from its premiere.
“One of the forms of fiction that has always fascinated me is the detective story but I thought to myself, ‘I can take it a step further and introduce the element of the supernatural,’” says Stephen King, whose books and short stories have become top-rated films.
“I had the idea for a long time to write a story about a guy who was in two places at the same time and how that could possibly happen. What really turned my dial is I thought to myself, ‘I’d like to have a protagonist here who has skin in the game, who has a reason to really hate this guy, and who jumps the gun and brings him in before he understands the whole landscape of this case.’ I wanted to have this guy find out little by little that the man he’s arrested for this murder has a cast-iron alibi in another place.
“There are some damn strange things in this world of ours. What always interests me in stories like this is how does a person cope with the unbelievable? How does a person deal and keep their sanity in a situation that doesn’t seem to have any rational explanation?”
The cast includes Mare Winningham as Ralph’s wife Jeannie, Bill Camp, Paddy Considine, Julianne Nicholson, and Yul Vázquez.
The series is written for television by Richard Price (The Wire, The Night Of), who also serves as executive producer. “You couldn’t ask for a better adaptor,” says King.
“The Outsider is a struggle between faith and reason,” says Price. “Holly is pre-inclined to believe the unbelievable but she is matched up with a seasoned detective who believes in science, forensics, witness statements and evidence. The struggle is: Holly has to convert Ralph’s lifelong empirical training to believe in something he’s never been able to believe before.”
The Outsider is available to stream now on Showmax.