'Damages' inflicted on FX for second, third seasons

Cabler has record 6 dramas going

FX is bringing back "Damages," and how.

The cable network has ordered two more seasons — or 26 episodes — of the drama series from KZK Prods., Sony Pictures Television and FX Prods. Stars Glenn Close, Rose Byrne and Tate Donovan are signed on as series regulars for both seasons.

"Damages" wrapped its first season Oct. 23, averaging a multi-telecast weekly cume of 5.1 million total viewers and 2.5 million adults 18-49, according to Nielsen Media Research. On a first-run basis, the series averaged 2.5 million total viewers, including 1.1 million in the demo, per episode.

Season 2 is targeted to enter production in New York early next year, pending a lengthy writers strike.

FX noted that the "Damages" pickup — along with "The Shield," "Nip/Tuck," "Rescue Me," "Dirt" and "The Riches" — makes for a total of six concurrent drama series, the most ever for a cable network in that genre.

FX president and GM John Landgraf praised the show's creators/executive producers — Todd A. Kessler, Glenn Kessler and Daniel Zelman — and the cast for a "beautifully written, beautifully acted show." He added that it's the first time the network has ordered multiple seasons of a show at one time and noted the benefit of FX being a co-producer on "Damages" with SPT.

"There also was a good amount of support in the international marketplace, which is very bullish on the show," Landgraf said. "When we looked at the economics of it, it just worked out really well that we were able to make a commitment to two seasons.".

SPT co-president of programming and production Zack Van Amburg agreed. "This group has mastered the art of storytelling with a show that continually raises the bar with each and every episode," he said.

SPT co-president Jamie Erlicht added that "FX has continually shown enormous support for both this show and for Sony, and it's evident in this extended renewal."

Todd Kessler, Glenn Kessler and Zelman issued a joint statement touting their "rewarding" relationship with FX, adding, "We're extremely fortunate to be able to continue to write and produce stories for an actress of Glenn Close's talent and stature."