11:39am PT by Michael O'Connell
HBO's 'Vice' Extends Season; More Time for Dennis Rodman in North Korea
HBO is taking advantage of the recent coverage surrounding former Chicago Bulls star Dennis Rodman's trip to North Korea for Vice.
The network announced Wednesday that it's expanding the freshman run from eight to ten episodes, devoting the entire June 14 season finale to its trip to the cut-off country threatening war. The NBA Hall of Famer, who was part of the delegation including Vice correspondent Ryan Duffy and three players from the Harlem Globetrotters, earned access on account of leader Kim Jong-un's fanaticism for the 1990s Bulls dynasty.
Vice founder and series host Shane Smith previously had reported from the isolated nation twice before but was not allowed to return on account of his criticism of the regime. Rodman, it appears, doesn't have such a problem. He recently said that he's going back.
"I’m going back August 1," Rodman told The Miami Herald. "We have no plans really, as far as what we're going to do over there, but we’ll just hang and have some fun!"
As for Vice, the Friday series has been performing well for HBO after its Real Time with Bill Maher lead-in. The second episode, which premiered April 12, jumped 78 percent to a 931,000 viewers in its inaugural airing. Early data gives the series an average gross of 2 million viewers with the addition of DVR, HBO Go and encores.