WE Breakout 'Love After Lockup' Extended After Hitting Ratings Highs

The docuseries about ex-cons and the civilians who love them has been on a steady upward climb in its second season.
Courtesy of WE TV
'Love After Lockup'

WE is betting the appetite for its breakout series Love After Lockup will continue into the spring.

The cabler has extended the show's second season by 10 episodes, which will premiere in the spring. That brings the total for season two to 24. The additional order comes amid a ratings surge for the show, which has grown substantially both within this season and compared to its first.

The most recent installment on Feb. 15 drew 1.4 million viewers, 890,000 of whom (about 64 percent) fall in WE's key demographic of adults 25-54, after three days of delayed viewing. Both numbers are the best ever for Love After Lockup and were up by more than 20 percent week to week.

The docuseries from Sharp Entertainment (90 Day Fiancé) follows couples who fall in love while one is in prison and the challenges they face after the inmate is released. 

Love After Lockup has been on a steady upward trajectory in the ratings for most of this season. Through 11 episodes, three-day viewership among all viewers, adults 25-54 and women 25-54 has more than doubled since the season premiere in December. Every episode since the season premiere has outdrawn the show's first-season highs.

Love After Lockup also outperforms WE's typical primetime ratings by wide margins. In 2018, the network averaged 441,000 primetime viewers and 189,000 in the 25-54 demo.

The ratings climb — which mirrors those of the scripted cable hits Killing Eve and Dirty John — is all the more rare in an era when ratings for most series on ad-supported channels are in decline. More than three-fourths (60 of 78) ad-supported cable entertainment networks saw their primetime audiences fall in 2018.