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Netflix is returning to space.
The streaming giant has renewed its Steve Carell-led comedy Space Force for a second season. Production on the pricey comedy will move from Los Angeles to Vancouver in a bid to reduce the show’s budget. Filming will begin next year. A return date has not yet been determined.
As part of a larger creative revamp, Norm Hiscock has also joined the series and will serve as co-showrunner alongside Greg Daniels. Hiscock, a frequent collaborator with Daniels, counts Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Parks and Recreation, People of Earth and King of the Hill among his credits. The hope, per sources, is that a second season will allow Space Force the runway to grow creatively and better connect with viewers and critics alike much in the same way The Office broke out in its subsequent seasons. In addition to Hiscock, co-star Jimmy O. Yang has also joined the Space Force writing staff.
Inspired by Trump’s order to establish the space force as the sixth military branch, Space Force was co-created by Carell and his former The Office showrunner Daniels. Picked up straight to series in January 2019, Space Force at the time set a record for talent as Carell’s deal for the series topped $1 million per episode when factoring in fees for co-creating, exec producing and acting.
With The Office ranking as one of Netflix’s most-watched acquired series — sources note that it often collects more viewers than some of its originals — the streamer stepped up after hearing Carell was ready to return to series-regular television and aggressively pursued Space Force. The show was not shopped elsewhere. The renewal also arrives as The Office is poised to move from Netflix to Peacock starting in 2021.
The 10-episode comedy launched May 29 to high expectations considering it reunited Carell and Daniels for the first time since mega-hit The Office. Critics were not kind and the series, per aggregate site RottenTomatoes.com, has a 38 percent rating. THR chief TV critic Daniel Fienberg called the series “a bumpy launch” in his review. Viewers, however, were more kind (75 percent).
Carell leads a cast that also includes returning co-stars John Malkovich, Ben Schwartz, Tawny Newsome, Diana Silvers and Yang. Daniels, Carell, Hiscock and 3 Arts’ Howard Klein also exec produce.
The renewal caps a strong year for Daniels, who returned to the TV space for the first time since TBS’ People of Earth in 2017 with Space Force and his longtime passion project, Amazon’s Upload. The latter hourlong dramedy, starring Robbie Amell and Andy Allo, was renewed for a second season a week after its debut. The futuristic series has an 87 percent with critics and 86 percent with viewers on RottenTomatoes.com.
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