The clock might have just struck midnight for Watchmen.

USA Today reports that what series creator Damon Lindelof has said all along is now all but certain: Barring a sudden change of heart, there won’t be a second season of his critically acclaimed Watchmen series.

Lindelof has been insistent since the show began airing last fall that the first season of Watchmen was the entire story he wanted to tell with these characters and universe and that he wasn’t interested in making any more episodes. He said he was fine with HBO making more Watchmen without him — but now HBO’s Casey Bloys told USA Today it “would be hard to imagine doing it without Damon involved in some way.”

More of the key quote:

It’s really in Damon’s thinking about what he wants to do. If there’s an idea that excited him about another season, another installment, maybe like a ‘Fargo,’ ‘True Detective’ (anthology) take on it, or if he wants to do something different altogether. We’re very proud of ‘Watchmen,’ but what I’m most interested in what Damon wants to do.

And since what Lindelof wants to do is nothing, that essentially means Watchmen is done.

This is the correct outcome. The first season worked perfectly as a self-contained sequel to the original Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons comic book. Even with that quasi-cliffhanger ending, there wasn’t really a lot of dangling threads left to explore, at least with that cast of characters. (Or maybe that quasi-cliffhanger ending was one of the few sour notes in the entire season.) A longer first season could have worked — maybe 12 episodes instead of the nine we got to mirror the structure of the original comic series — especially if it fleshed out more of the supporting characters. But another run with an entirely new story? Lindelof, and now HBO, have the right idea.

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