HBO has renewed the critically acclaimed drama series The Leftovers for a third and final season, it was announced today by Michael Lombardo, president, HBO Programming. Created by Damon Lindelof (Emmy winner for Lost) and Tom Perrotta (Academy Award nominee for Little Children), the series is produced for HBO by White Rabbit in association with Warner Bros. Television. Here's what Michael Lombardo had to say about the renewal in a statement.

"It is with great enthusiasm that we welcome back Damon Lindelof, Tom Perrotta and the extraordinary talent behind The Leftovers for its third and final season. This show has proven to be one of the most distinctive HBO series and we are extremely proud of its unrivaled originality, which has resulted in such a passionate following by our HBO viewers. We admire and fully support Damon's artistic vision and respect his decision to bring the show to its conclusion next season."
RELATED: The Leftovers Season 2 Trailer Promises a New Beginning

In the second season of The Leftovers, the show expanded on the original concept of The Rapture that was explored in Tom Perrotta's bestselling novel of the same name, continuing to focus on the ways ordinary people react to inexplicable events. Season 2 told a tale of two families, the Garveys and the Murphys, whose lives intersected in surprising ways, following the Garveys from New York to eastern Texas, where one small town, nicknamed "Miracle," and its residents had been spared during The Departure. Here's what Damon Lindelof had to say about the renewal in his statement.

"I have never, ever experienced the level of creative support and trust that I have received from HBO during the last two seasons of The Leftovers. Tom, myself and our incredible team of writers and producers put tremendous care into designing those seasons as novels unto themselves...with beginnings, middles and ends. As we finished our most recent season, it became clear to us that the series as a whole was following the same model...and with our beginning and middle complete, the most exciting thing for us as storytellers would be to bring The Leftovers to a definitive end. And by 'definitive,' we mean 'wildly ambiguous but hopefully mega-emotional,' as all things related to this show are destined to be. On behalf of our incredible crew and superb cast, we are all tremendously grateful that HBO is giving us an opportunity to conclude the show on our own terms... an opportunity like this one rarely comes along, and we have every intention of living up to it. One more thing. We are blessed by the unwavering support of our fans and the incredibly powerful voice of the critical community. We feel absolutely privileged to heat up one last helping of leftovers."

The finale of the second season of The Leftovers debuted Dec. 6 on HBO. Among the critical praise, the New York Times hailed The Leftovers as "outstanding" and referred to it as a "master class," while HitFix.com deemed the show "TV's best drama," as well as "powerful, immersive." The Hollywood Reporter said that "every performance is superlative," and TVLine.com hailed the series as "breathtaking, audacious, innovative." Season two has been included in many Best of 2015 critics' lists, while Vulture.com has lauded The Leftovers as "one of the great dramas in American television."

The Leftovers Season Two series regulars included Justin Theroux, Amy Brenneman, Christopher Eccleston, Liv Tyler, Carrie Coon, Ann Dowd, Margaret Qualley, Chris Zylka, Regina King, Kevin Carroll, Jovan Adepo and Janel Moloney. The Leftovers is produced for HBO by White Rabbit in association with Warner Bros. Television; created by Damon Lindelof and Tom Perrotta; executive produced by Damon Lindelof, Tom Perrotta, Mimi Leder, Tom Spezialy, Peter Berg and Sarah Aubrey; co-executive producers, Gene Kelly, Jacqueline Hoyt, Albert Berger and Ron Yerxa. Lindelof serves as showrunner.