History has renewed its first scripted drama series, “Vikings,” for a 10-episode second season. Dirk Hoogstra, EVP, Development and Programming for History made the announcement today.
Created and written by Michael Hirst, the renewal comes just five episodes into the “Vikings” freshman season. Four new episodes remain in the current season airing Sundays at 10 p.m. with the season finale slated for Sunday, April 28 at 10 p.m.
“Vikings” continues to be the #1 new cable series in 2013 and has propelled History to #1 in cable in its Sunday 10-11 p.m. time period. Over the five weeks, the hit drama series averaged 5.0 million total viewers, 2.2 million Adults 25-54 and 1.9 Adults 18-49. This past Sunday, episode five delivered 4.7 million total viewers, 2.2 million Adults 25-54 and 1.7 million Adults 18-49. This was up 4% among total viewers and up 5% among Adults 25-54 from last week.
“‘Vikings’ is a win win for us. As our first scripted series, ‘Vikings’ has paid off in a big way with critical acclaim, strong ratings and a passionate, loyal fan base. It came out of the gate strong and has stayed on top, solidifying History as a major player in the scripted genre, just as we are in reality,” said Hoogstra. “We could not be more proud of the entire cast and crew and everyone involved in the making of ‘Vikings’. Michael Hirst has captured audiences with his complex, compelling characters and brought the unknown, epic world of these warriors to life. Season Two will begin production this summer to air in 2014.”
MGM Television brought the series to the network and brings “Vikings” to the global audience, serving as the international distributor outside of Ireland, Canada and the U.S.
“We are very excited that ‘Vikings’ is generating so much attention worldwide,” said Roma Khanna, President, Television Group and Digital, MGM. “MGM is thrilled to have the continued support and enthusiasm of our partners at History and to work with an amazing international team as they bring Michael Hirst’s vision to audiences around the globe.”
“Vikings,” airing Sundays at 10 p.m. ET, tells the extraordinary tales of the lives and epic adventures of these warriors. The drama portrays the world of these Dark Age raiders, traders, explorers – not from an outsider’s view, but, through the eyes of Viking society.
While “Vikings” is filled with conflict, warfare and bloodshed – for these were extreme times – it is a family saga at heart. It follows the adventures of Ragnar Lothbrok (Travis Fimmel), a curious, compelling man who is always looking to break through barriers and discover new worlds to conquer. Ragnar is deeply frustrated by the unadventurous policies of his local chieftain, Earl Haraldson (Gabriel Byrne), who continues to send his Vikings raiders east every summer, to the Baltic states and Russia, whose populations are as materially poor as themselves.
Joining Fimmel and Byrne are Katheryn Winnick as Lagertha, a fierce shield maiden and Ragnar’s wife; Jessalyn Gilsig as Siggy, Earl Haraldson’s beautiful wife; George Blagden as Athelstan, a young, innocent Christian monk captured by Ragnar on his first raid on England, Clive Standen as Rollo, Ragnar’s impulsive, wild, care-free brother and Gustaf Skarsgard, a ship builder who designs the new generation of Vikings ships.
Created and written by Michael Hirst – one of the premier historical story-tellers in the industry, Michael serves as Executive Producer along with Morgan O’Sullivan of World 2000, John Weber of Take 5 Productions, Sherry Marsh, Alan Gasmer, James Flynn and Sheila Hockin. Dirk Hoogstra and Julian P. Hobbs are the Executives in Charge of Production for History.