News from the world of television renewals brings word that two of TV’s period-piece series will be returning for another season. First up is WGN America’s freshman show Salem, which was renewed for a second season earlier this week. The strong start for the relatively small network’s first foray into scripted series territory re-imagines the infamous witch trials in the 17th century Massachusetts title town. Production on the 13-episode second season is expected to begin later this year with a 2015 release date in sight. Be sure to check out our recent interviews with co-creator Brannon Braga, executive producer David Van Ancken, stars Seth Gabel, Iddo Goldberg and Elise Eberle, and Shane West and Janet Montgomery.
Hit the jump for more on the Starz series Da Vinci’s Demons, its season three renewal, and new showrunner.
News on Salem’s renewal comes via Variety. Here’s the press release from Starz with the full details on the Da Vinci’s Demons season three renewal:
John Shiban to Serve as Season Three Showrunner
David S. Goyer Continues as Executive Producer
Beverly Hills, Calif. – May 6, 2014 – Starz Chief Executive Officer Chris Albrecht today announced a third season for the STARZ Original series “Da Vinci’s Demons” has been greenlit. The historical fantasy, created and executive produced by David S. Goyer and produced by Adjacent Productions, follows the ‘untold’ story of the world’s greatest genius, Leonardo da Vinci, during his turbulent youth in Renaissance Florence.
John Shiban joins “Da Vinci’s Demons” season three as executive producer and showrunner. Shiban began his career as a staff writer on FOX’s “The X-Files.” During his stint on the celebrated FOX series, Shiban wrote or co-wrote over twenty episodes and served as executive producer by the end of the series’ nine-year run. His writing on “The X-Files” garnered him an Emmy® nomination. As a producer, Shiban has also been honored with a Golden Globe® Award and an Emmy® nomination for Outstanding Dramatic Series for “The X-Files.” Shiban joined AMC’s “Breaking Bad” as a consulting producer in its second season, penning several episodes of the acclaimed series. He received a WGA Award nomination for Episodic Drama for the episode “Phoenix” and wrote and directed Season Three’s penultimate episode “Sunset.” On AMC’s “Hell on Wheels,” Shiban served as executive producer and showrunner, writing and directing numerous episodes.
“We’re excited to continue Leonardo da Vinci’s adventures with a third season of ’Da Vinci’s Demons’ with John Shiban joining the ranks as executive producer and showrunner,” said Carmi Zlotnik, managing director of Starz. “David S. Goyer’s vision of da Vinci’s journey continues to entertain fans, taking them deeper into the world of ‘Da Vinci’s Demons’ where there is still much more story to tell.”
“I’m very proud of this modern take on the endlessly fascinating Leonardo da Vinci — everyone from the writers, directors, cast and all the crew have been invaluable and will continue to be for what we have ahead,” says Goyer. “I’ve been a fan of John’s work for some time and I’m excited to add his voice to the mix.”
“I’m thrilled to be joining the amazing creative team behind ‘Da Vinci’s Demons,’” said Shiban. “Starz and Adjacent have given us an amazing playground to play in – I can’t wait to dig further into the untold history of Leonardo da Vinci.”
Brilliant and passionate, the 25-year- old Leonardo da Vinci is an artist, inventor, swordsman, lover, dreamer and idealist. As a free thinker, with intellect and talents that are almost superhuman, he struggles to live within the confines of his own reality and time.
“Da Vinci’s Demons” stars Tom Riley (“Monroe,” “Doctor Who”), as the title character; Laura Haddock (The Inbetweeners Movie,Guardians of the Galaxy) who plays Lucrezia Donati; Elliot Cowan (“Luther”) who plays the de factor ruler of Florence, Lorenzo Medici; Lara Pulver (Edge of Tomorrow, “Fleming,” “Sherlock”), who plays his wife Clarice Orsini; and Blake Ritson (Serena, “Upstairs Downstairs”) who plays the ruthless and unwavering Count Girolamo Riario, nephew of Pope Sixtus IV.
Jane Tranter serves as Executive Producer. The series is produced by Adjacent Productions, a label launched and run by Tranter to sit alongside BBC Worldwide Productions in order to identify new and original programming created and produced under the company’s umbrella.
Outside of the United States and English-speaking Canada, “Da Vinci’s Demons” is distributed internationally by BBC Worldwide, in partnership with FOX International Channels (FIC) who broadcasts the series to audiences in 125 countries in Latin America, Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Africa following Starz’s exclusive premiere in the U.S.