May 10, 2013 9:52am PT by Michael O'Connell
Syfy Renews 'Defiance' for Second Season
Syfy is going back to Defiance. The cable network has renewed its freshman drama for a second season after solid premiere ratings and strong retention.
A 13-episode sophomore season of the dystopian alien drama has been ordered, with a production start eyed for August and a 2014 return to the network.
Currently in the middle of its initial order, Defiance marked the second largest series premiere in network history and has regularly won cable's scripted offerings in its Monday time slot among adults 18-49. It opened on April 15 to 2.7 million viewers and 1.3 million in the demo.
Solid as those numbers might be, Defiance has been a massive investment for Syfy and Universal Cable Productions. Billed as a "transmedia experience," the series is tied to a massively multiplayer online video game. The combined price tag of the freshman season and the video game is a cool $100 million. The Trion Worlds game, as of early May, has north of 1 million registered users.
"Bringing the rich world of Defiance to life has been an incredible team effort," said Syfy president of original content Mark Stern. "We couldn't ask for better partners than [showrunner] Kevin Murphy, his amazing cast and crew, and Trion Worlds. We can't wait to see where they take us in the second season."
Murphy will stay on as ep and showrunner, with Smallville’s Darren Swimmer and Todd Slavkin returning as eps for season two and Michael Taylor serves as consulting producer.
Defiance stars Grant Bowler, Julie Benz, Stephanie Leonidas, Tony Curran, Jaime Murray, Graham Greene and Mia Kirshner.