Sky Italia Launches 'Gomorrah' Season Two With Eye Toward Global Competition

Gomorrah S02 Still - Publicity - H 2016
Courtesy of Sky Italia

Gomorrah S02 Still - Publicity - H 2016

The company confirmed seasons three and four of the popular series.

The second season of the popular Italian crime series Gomorrah will premiere Tuesday across Sky Europe. Sky on Monday debuted in Rome a special preview of the new series, which is based on the best-selling book about the Neapolitan mafia by Roberto Saviano.

At the presentation, held in the elegant Opera House of Rome, the author was present alongside the main cast and veteran directors Stefano Sollima, Claudio Cuppellini and Francesca Comencini and newcomer helmer Claudio Giovannesi.

“My obsession is the power,” Saviano said after the screening. “It is the most difficult thing to do, but to describe the access to power, it means also to understand criminality, to understand politics, to understand also human feelings.”

The new season was shot in 32 weeks between Italy, Germany and Costa Rica, involving 200 actors, 3,500 extras and about 600 crew personnel.

The new episodes were produced by Sky Atlantic, Italy’s Cattleya and Fandango in cooperation with Germany’s Beta Film. Gomorrah has already been sold in over 130 countries, including the U.S. (Sundance TV).

With an average of 700,000 viewers for each of its 12 episodes for the first season, Gomorrah has been the most successful series broadcast by Sky Italia. With an average of 950,000 spectators on Canal+ in France, Gomorrah also broke records as the best non-French European debut on the channel.

Gomorrah represented a revolution in a market that is in constant expansion in Italy,” said Sky Italia’s director of original productions Nils Hartmann. “In the United States, this process already started a few years ago. With Gomorrah, it is the most ever viewed series and the most downloaded of Sky Italia, and we are following this trend. Indeed, we are already planning the third and fourth seasons.”

With Netflix, Amazon and Vivendi knocking on the door, the ambitions of Sky Italia need to measure up to an increasingly aggressive global market.

“There is a strategy of strong investments on original content,” Sky Italia’s executive vp programming Andrea Scrosati told The Hollywood Reporter. “Today we have a big advantage. We are in a position to work knowing that we can rely on a potential audience of 21 million families. We stand at a unique opportunity, and we have to make the most out of it.”

Between the other current productions poised to leverage Sky Europe’s vast market standing, upcoming Sky Italia original content includes The Young Pope, directed by Academy Awarded-winning director Paolo Sorrentino, from HBO and Canal+, and Zero Zero Zero, also from a Saviano book on cocaine trafficking, co-produced with Canal+. The network also is expected to launch a follow-up to its popular political series 1992.

The Pan-European pay TV giant Sky ended its fiscal third quarter, which ran through March, with 12.35 million customers in the U.K. and Ireland, 8.63 million in Italy and 7.91 million in Germany and Austria.

The second season of Gomorrah will air weekly beginning May 10 simultaneously in all five countries.

On Aug. 24, the first season also will be shown in the U.S. on Sundance TV, which purchased seasons one and two from The Weinstein Company.