13 Reasons Why is an American Netflix series based on the 2007 novel Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher and adapted by Brian Yorkey for Netflix. Diana Son and Brian Yorkey are co-showrunners on the series. 

Originally conceived as a film set to be released by Universal Pictures with Selena Gomez in the lead role, the adaptation was picked up as a television series by Netflix in late 2015. Gomez served as an executive producer.

The series received universal acclaim from critics and audiences, who praised its subject matter and casting.[1]


Based on the best-selling books by Jay Asher, 13 Reasons Why follows teenager Clay Jensen as he returns home from school to find a mysterious box with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker—his classmate and crush—who tragically committed suicide two weeks earlier. On tape, Hannah explains that there are thirteen reasons why she decided to end her life. Will Clay be one of them? If he listens, he’ll find out how he made the list. Through Hannah and Clay’s dual narratives, 13 Reasons Why weaves an intricate and heart wrenching story of teenage life that will deeply affect viewers. [2]

Cast and Characters




  • Universal Studios purchased film rights to the novel on February 8, 2011, with Selena Gomez cast to play the lead role of Hannah Baker. 
  • On October 29, 2015, it was announced that Netflix would be making a television adaptation of the book with Gomez instead serving as an executive producer.
  • Tom McCarthy was hired to direct the first two episodes. 
  • The series is produced by Anonymous Content and Paramount Television with Selena Gomez, Tom McCarthy, Joy GormanMichael SugarSteve Golin, Mandy Teefey, and Kristel Laiblin serving as executive producers.
  • Filming for the show took place in Northern California towns of Vallejo, Benicia, San Rafael, Crockett and Sebastopol, during the summer of 2016.
  • All 13 episodes of 13 Reasons Why and the special, "13 Reasons Why: Beyond the Reasons" were released on Netflix on March 31, 2017.[3]
  • On May 7, 2017, 13 Reasons Why was renewed for a 13-episode second season to premiere in 2018.[4]


The show has brought awareness about suicide to teens. The series was also credited for an almost 100% increase in the number of calls to Brazil's suicide hotlines. Australian youth mental health service for 12–25 year-olds headspace, issued a warning in late April 2017 over the graphic content featured in the series due to the increased number of calls to the service following the show's release in the country.[5][6]


  • Katherine Langford, the actress who portrays Hannah Baker, admitted that she hadn't read the book before starting filming, not knowing what she was in for and hadn't read it during filming and then realized that the story was getting quite heavy. Dylan Minnette, the actor who portrays Clay Jensen, also admitted he hadn't read the book before filming.[7]
  • Selena Gomez commented in a panel interview for 13 Reasons Why, that she felt like the book was meant to become or be a series.[7]
  • Mandy Teefey, Gomez's Mother, also commented that she read the book and also felt like it was meant to become or be a series.[7]
  • Selena Gomez was originally asked to be cast as Hannah Baker, but she stated that she didn't want there to be two different conversations: one about the Netflix series and the other focused on her. She asked for someone else to be cast to take the focus off of her. She felt the series needed to do the book justice for the young adults who related to the story line.
  • Together Selena Gomez, Alisha Boe and Tommy Dorfman got matching semi-colon tattoos.[8] Brandon Flynn got the same tattoo, but did it at a separate time from them.[9]



13 Reasons Why poster

Season 1



  1. "13 Reasons Why: Season 1 (2017)". Rotten TomatoesFandango.
  2. Netflix Media Center: 13 Reasons Why
  3. Deadline—"'13 Reasons Why' Gets Netflix Premiere" (January 25, 2017)
  4. Deadline—"'13 Reasons Why' Renewed For Season 2 By Netflix" (May 7, 2017)
  5. Cockburn Gazette: "13 Reasons headspace issues warning new Netflix show"
  6. Headspace: "Dangerous Content in 13 Reasons Why"
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 YouTube Video - 13 Reasons Why Panel | There’s Never Enough TV | Netflix
  8. Selena Gomez, Alisha Boe and Tommy Dorfman get matching tattoos of a semi-colon for 13 Reasons Why and Project Semi-Colon.
  9. Brandon Flynn gets a semi-colon tattoo for 13 Reasons Why!

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