10:00am PT by Lesley Goldberg
'The Shannara Chronicles' Renewed for Second Season at MTV
MTV is going back to The Shannara Chronicles.
The Viacom-owned cable network has renewed the fantasy drama based on the Terry Brooks best-sellers for a second season, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.
The drama — the most expensive pilot ever produced for MTV — wrapped its freshman run March 1 with 1.77 million total viewers with three days of delayed viewing and has been a decent performer with seven days of DVR, where it typically gains another million eyeballs. The drama ranks as MTV's top-rated new series this year among viewers 12-34 and has the highest seven-day DVR lift (106 percent) for a freshman series in MTV history.
From exec producer Jon Favreau and showrunners Al Gough and Miles Millar (AMC's Into the Badlands, Smallville), the drama — which was picked up straight-to-series — centers on the Shannara family, whose descendants are empowered with ancient magic and whose adventures continuously reshape the future of the world. Poppy Drayton, Austin Butler, Ivana Baquero, Manu Bennett and John Rhys-Davies star in the co-production between Sonar Entertainment and MTV.
The Shannara book series first started in 1977 with The Sword of Shannara and encompasses multiple trilogies and a prequel, totaling more than 25 books.
As for MTV, head of scripted Mina Lefevre told reporters in January at TCA that she hoped Shannara would broaden the younger-skewing network's scope and demographic. "What I love about what they've been able to execute is you have this huge world, but the truth is a lot of the characters are relatable to our current audience and a broader audience. It broadens age group — more males enjoy the show."
Shannara is one of several fantasy dramas to emerge as broadcast and cable networks look to find their own version of HBO hit Game of Thrones. Starz has found success with its Outlander adaptation, FX's The Bastard Executioner was canceled after one season and ABC's Of Kings and Prophets was pulled after two episodes.
The decision to renew Shannara comes as scripted continues to remain a high priority for MTV under new president Sean Atkins. Shannara joins a drama roster at MTV that also includes the upcoming second season of Scream as well as veteran Teen Wolf.
The renewal also means showrunners Gough and Millar have gone two for two, with their basic cable launches Into the Badlands and Shannara both earning sophomore seasons.