'Eastbound & Down' will return to HBO

Network orders second season of Danny McBride series

HBO has renewed the comedy series "Eastbound & Down" for a second season. Production on the new episodes will begin this year for a 2010 premiere.

The series, exec produced by Will Ferrell and Adam McKay, had a slow start, drawing 671,000 viewers in its Feb. 15 premiere.

But like Alan Ball's vampire drama "True Blood" last year, it grew steadily throughout its six-episode run, peaking at 950,000 viewers on March 15, following the March 14 telecast of Ferrell's "You're Welcome America" HBO special, and closing its freshman season with 904,000 viewers March 22.

Overall, the series ended 35% higher in the ratings than where it started.

" 'Eastbound & Down's' raucous comedy sparked a loyal and enthusiastic following that grew throughout the season," HBO West Coast chief Michael Lombardo said.

"Eastbound" stars Danny McBride as Kenny Powers, a star pitcher whose self-destructive behavior knocked him out of the major leagues. He returned home to North Carolina to teach gym at the middle school he once attended, but eventually scored another big-league job offer.

"Eastbound" is exec produced by Ferrell, McKay, Chris Henchy, Jody Hill, McBride and Ben Best.
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