8:35pm PT by Rick Porter
M. Night Shyamalan's 'Servant' Gets Early Season 2 Renewal From Apple
Apple's nascent streaming platform is in the renewal business.
After giving second seasons to each of the first four scripted series on Apple TV+, the tech giant has handed out an early pickup to a fifth show: Servant, a thriller executive produced by M. Night Shyamalan. The Sixth Sense and Glass director announced the renewal — which comes six days ahead of Servant's series debut — Friday on NBC's The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.
Apple TV+ launched Nov. 1 with four scripted shows: Dickinson, For All Mankind, The Morning Show and See. The Jennifer Aniston- and Reese Witherspoon-led Morning Show received a two-season order at the outset, and the other three series received formal pickups six days after the service debuted — though they had quietly been given the green light to continue production several months ago.
Now comes a renewal for Servant, which stars Lauren Ambrose and Toby Kebbell as a Philadelphia couple who are in mourning after an unspeakable tragedy causes a rift in their marriage and allows a mysterious force to enter their home. Its first three episodes are set to debut on Thanksgiving, with the rest of the 10-episode season rolling out weekly on Fridays.
Tony Basgallop (Hotel Babylon, Berlin Station) created the series and executive produces with Shyamalan, Ashwin Rajan, Jason Blumenthal, Todd Black and Steve Tisch. Taylor Latham and Patrick Markey serve as co-EPs. Shyamalan also directed multiple episodes.
The cast of Servant also includes Rupert Grint and Nell Tiger Free.
Sources close to Apple told The Hollywood Reporter that the four series that debuted Nov. 1 delivered "millions" of viewers over launch weekend of the $5-per-month subscription service. (Apple TV+ was free for seven days at launch.) Those same sources say Apple is thrilled with the early performance of all four shows. The average time spent on the TV+ platform was well over an hour for each viewer, those same sources said. Viewership is said to have grown "triple digits" from Friday to Saturday and again from Saturday to Sunday as first adopters returned over the weekend. Apple, like other streamers Netflix, Amazon and Hulu, does not release viewership information. Information on total signups for the service was also not immediately revealed.