10:30am PT by Lesley Goldberg
Starz Renews 'Ash vs. Evil Dead' Ahead of Premiere
Starz is showing an early sign of faith in Ash vs. Evil Dead.
The premium cable network has handed out an early second-season renewal for the comedic follow-up to Evil Dead, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.
The 10-episode half-hour series, set to debut on Halloween on Saturday, stars Bruce Campbell and reunites him with the original Evil Dead filmmakers Sam Raimi and Rob Tapert.
Starz, which has a history of handing out early renewals sight unseen, attributed the pickup to "strong fan, affiliate and distributor demand."
Showrunner Craig DiGregorio is also slated to return for a second season alongside Raimi, Tapert and Campbell, who also exec produces. Campbell continues on with his role as Ash Williams, the aging lothario and chainsaw-handed monster hunter. Lucy Lawless (Spartacus) is also set to return in season two as Ruby, a mysterious figure who believes Ash is the cause of the evil outbreaks.
"One season isn’t enough to satisfy the fans’ two decade-long appetite for more Ash," Starz managing director Carmi Zlotnik said. "The early fan and press support, along with the international broadcaster demand for more story have made it clear that the adventures of Ash Williams can’t end with season one."
Starz, which retains domestic and international multiplatform rights, announced global licensing deals in more than 100 countries and territories worldwide as the series will premiere simultaneously around the globe.
Ash joins a roster of originals that include comedy Blunt Talk — picked up straight to series for two seasons — Outlander, American Gods, Survivor's Remorse, Havana Quartet, Power, The Girlfriend Experience, Black Sails, The Missing, The One Percent and the final season of DaVinci's Demons.
Starz, which doesn't develop via the traditional pilot model, has a history of handing out early renewals with the cabler looking at the renewal as both a show of faith as well as a way of allowing the series to find itself.