No one was exactly surprised that Stranger Things’ breakout success would lead to additional episodes in Season 2, though at least one felt pretty extraneous. Well, we can expect a tighter turnaround in Season 3, as producers officially confirm the next round of episodes will be trimming down.

Where the first Stranger Things unfurled over a manageable eight hours and Season 2 bumped things up to nine, recent comments from executive producer Shawn Levy suggested that Season 3 had not necessarily settled on either length. Production is scheduled to begin in April for an unspecified premiere, and TVLine now confirms that Stranger Things 3 will return to the eight-episode run of its inaugural season. Levy had also suggested a late 2018 premiere was still on the table, though its unclear if the lighter episode order could facilitate that.

Elsewhere of Stranger Things Season 3, we know the story will likely jump ahead another year to 1985, and feature “forces of evil that are new” joining the enormous “Mind Flayer” monster. All of the regular cast are expected to return, though it remains to be seen if Paul Reiser will reprise his role as Hawkins Lab doctor Sam Owens. We’ll also likely return to Eleven’s fellow test subjects and some unused concepts from Season 2, while producers continue weighing whether the series will cap with four or five seasons.

Casting and production news will likely arrive before April, so stay tuned.

Gallery: Eleven ‘Stranger Things’ Questions We Need Season 3 to Answer

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