'Avenue 5' Renewed for Season 2 at HBO

Avenue 5 S01 Still - Publicity - H 2020
Alex Bailey/HBO

HBO will continue the voyage of Avenue 5.

The premium cable outlet has renewed the sci-fi comedy from Veep creator Armando Iannucci for a second season. The pickup comes relatively quickly, as the series has aired just four episodes since its Jan. 19 debut.

"We've loved every minute of Avenue 5's inaugural voyage,” HBO Programming executive vp Amy Gravitt said Thursday in a statement. "Armando Iannucci and his team are masters of smart and incisive comedy, and the ensemble cast, brilliantly captained by Hugh Laurie, is second to none. We can't wait to see what's in store for our hapless heroes in season two."

Avenue 5 takes place aboard a cruise ship in space and follows the crew and passengers when something goes very wrong during a voyage. Along with Veep and House veteran Laurie as Captain Ryan Clark, the cast includes Josh Gad, Zach Woods, Rebecca Front, Suzy Nakamura, Lenora Crichlow, Nikki Amuka-Bird and Ethan Phillips.

"It was so great to be back again with HBO for the first season of Avenue 5, so I’m doubly thrilled that HBO have now seen fit to put Captain Ryan Clark and his passengers and crew through even more physical and emotional hell next year, too," said Iannucci. "Nobody provides angst-ridden laughs better than Hugh Laurie, and we’re looking forward to seeing what further impossible situations and existential crises we can plunge him, Josh Gad and the rest of our fantastic cast into next. To the end of season one and beyond (into season two)!"

Added Laurie, "It's thrilling to discover that space isn’t finite after all. I'm very excited to be continuing on this journey with Armando and HBO, and also an amazing group of actors and writers who make me laugh every day. Here’s to the future."

Three-day ratings for Avenue 5's first three episodes have the show averaging about 800,000 viewers. The linear numbers typically represent just a fraction of the total audience for HBO series, which often get the majority of its viewership via streaming.

The comedy is part of an HBO roster that includes Westworld, The Outsider, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Barry, Insecure, A Black Lady Sketch Show, High Maintenance, The New Pope, Euphoria and My Brilliant Friend. The limited series I Know This Much Is True and The Undoing are also due to premiere in the spring; the fate of fall breakout Watchmen is up in the air as showrunner Damon Lindelof has said he's not sure he wants to do another season.

Iannucci executive produces Avenue 5 with Kevin Loader, Simon Blackwell, Tony Roche and Will Smith. Peter Fellows and Becky Martin are co-EPs, and Steve Clark-Hall is producer.