11:30am PT by Kate Stanhope
TBS Renews 'People of Earth' and 'Search Party' for Second Seasons
TBS' brand reinvention continues to show signs of success.
The Turner network has renewed first-year comedies People of Earth and Search Party. The two will return for 10-episode second seasons in 2017.
Produced by Conan O'Brien and Greg Daniels, People of Earth follows a skeptical journalist (The Daily Show's Wyatt Cenac) who reluctantly joins a support group for alien "experiencers," who claim they have been abducted by aliens. The series hails from Conaco in association with Warner Horizon Television. According to TBS, the sci-fi comedy is currently averaging 4.3 million viewers per episode across all platforms.
Search Party, starring Alia Shawkat (Arrested Development), is a dark comedy about four self-absorbed twenty-somethings who get swept up in an ominous mystery when a former college acquaintance suddenly vanishes. Led by executive producer Michael Showalter (Wet Hot American Summer), the series is produced in-house by Turner's Studio T in association with Jax Media.
While People of Earth premiered in October, TBS used a more unconventional rollout strategy for Search Party. Taking a page from the January launch of Angie Tribeca, where the entire first season aired as part of a 25-hour marathon, Search Party's entire freshman season unspooled over five days beginning Nov. 21 at 11 p.m., with two new episodes airing every night of the week. The weeklong rollout strategy drew 1.1 million viewers per episode across all platforms over five days, according to the network.
The renewals are the latest signs of promise for TBS' reinvention under president Kevin Reilly. The network's originals slate also includes comedies Angie Tribeca, The Detour, Wrecked and Full Frontal With Samantha Bee, all of which have been renewed and will return in 2017. TBS will next launch the comedy anthology series The Guest Book in January.
“Twelve months ago we set out to reimagine the TBS brand and its place in the TV landscape. To end 2016 with all six shows returning is humbling,” TBS executive vp original programming Brett Weitz said Tuesday in a statement. "The amazing teams behind People of Earth and Search Party have created complex, funny characters and crafted truly distinctive stories. Renewing both shows is the perfect end to a transformative year for TBS."
Reilly also is spearheading a massive reinvention at fellow Turner network TNT with edgy dramas like Animal Kingdom and Good Behavior, the former of which also has been renewed for a second season.
Speaking at the Television Critics Association's press tour in January, Reilly outlined hopes for a "total reinvention" of both cablers, with premium original content playing an important role in his four-part plan. He first came onboard as the head of both networks in late 2014.
"It’s a different environment now with SVOD in the universe, the amount of competition and the quality across the board, so it’s not going to be easy," Reilly said at the time. "But I came to Turner because I was aligned with a group of people who I felt had a fighting spirit, some answers and the resources to back it up. It’s a going to be a hairy couple of years — the next three years in the business in general, there is going to be a lot of change [and] there are headwinds on a lot of fronts."