January 25, 2013 10:08am PT by Lesley Goldberg , Michael O'Connell
It's Official: HBO Renews 'Girls' for Third Season
It's official: HBO has renewed Girls for a third season.
After weeks of the cast and executive producers spilling the beans early, the Golden Globe winner has been picked up for an expanded offering of 12 episodes.
Both executive producer Judd Apatow and creator and star Lena Dunham have recently discussed working on the third season for the show. Earlier this week Dunham mentioned a late March return to work in an interview with Alec Baldwin.
So far this season, the critical darling's season premiere has drawn a gross audience of at least 3.8 million viewers, with only limited data available. With only two episodes having aired so far, combined views between original episodes, encores, OnDemand and HBO Go are certain to top this number.
The same night the series took home Golden Globes for best comedy and best actress in a comedy (Dunham), the sophomore run bowed to a first-run audience of 866,000 viewers. The number was just south of its series premiere in 2011 and the freshman season finale. All told, that season brought in a gross audience average of 4.1 million viewers for every episode.
With near-universal critical acclaim and plenty of awards recognition, HBO gave Girls an earlier-than-expected return date for its latest run. It originally premiered in April, paired with Julia Louis-Dreyfus starrer Veep. The January return decreased the wait time between seasons and gave a small ratings boost to its new time slot neighbor, Enlightened.
Dunham created, stars and executive produces the series alongside Apatow, Jenni Konner, Ilene S. Landress and Bruce Eric Kaplan -- though the latter is working on a pilot for the network with Jason Reitman and Lorne Michaels.