History has a scored a few big ratings hits this season, and though its first scripted drama Vikings has not even finished its inaugural run, the cable network has already renewed it for a 10-episode second season. According to the network, Vikings has been the #1 new cable series in 2013 in terms of viewership, even in its competitive Sunday night slot, averaging around five million viewers. I reviewed the series as it first aired and found it compelling, especially in the weeks before another gritty period drama, Game of Thrones, returned — although Vikings certainly has its own merits. Hit the jump for more.
“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. 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.”
Vikings‘ success and renewal shows that cable channels, even ones just starting out with scripted content like History, are leading the game when it comes to quality programming. The restricted number of episodes for each season also allows much tighter storytelling. Vikings is not just full of action, but has a compelling emotional aspect too, with high production values. Though Vikings’ story is a trip to the past, its model is one for the future.
Vikings stars Travis Fimmel, Gabriel Byrne, Katheryn Winnick, Jessalyn Gilsig, George Blagden, Clive Standen and Gustaf Skarsgard. The series airs Sundays at 10 p.m. on History.