'Z: The Beginning of Everything' Renewed for Surprise Season 2 at Amazon (Exclusive)

Z: The Beginning of Everything - Still 1 -H 2017
Courtesy of Amazon Studios

Amazon is going back to Z: The Beginning of Everything.

The retail giant/streaming service has handed out a surprise second-season renewal to the Zelda Fitzgerald drama starring Christina Ricci, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.

The decision comes as a bit of a shocker given that the drama — which has a weak 61 score on Metacritic — appeared sure to be canceled weeks ago only to get a reprieve, according to a source close to the situation.

The renewal comes in the wake of a recent Vox study that claimed Amazon Studios' development process had a "sexist loophole" that favored straight-to-series shows created by men and criticism over Amazon's December decision to cancel female-fronted period drama Good Girls Revolt less than two months after its debut. Good Girls Revolt — which has a slightly better Metacritic score of 65 — significantly outrates Z: The Beginning of Everything when factoring in Amazon's user scores. Good Girls Revolt (which bowed Oct. 28) has an 8.2 rating with more than 27,400 votes, while Z: The Beginning of Everything (Jan. 27) registers with a 7.3 and 14,740. (Amazon, like Netflix and Hulu, does not release viewership information.)

"We heard a good pitch for season two, and based on that, we renewed the show. Anything else is speculation," said an Amazon Studios spokesperson in a statement to THR.

Both dramas were picked up to series as part of Amazon Studios' December 2015 development crop, which also included Tig Notario's Once Mississippi and Patriot, with the latter pair also renewed. (Highston, also picked up at the same time, was scrapped in January before its premiere.)

Z: The Beginning of Everything is based on Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald by Therese Anne Fowler and follows Zelda (Ricci) through her marriage to author F. Scott Fitzgerald (David Hoflin). David Strathairn co-stars. The series was created by Dawn Prestwich and Nicole Yorkin, who also exec produce alongside Pamela Koffler, Christine Vachon and Ricci.