BBC America kicked off its Television Critics Association press tour panel on Wednesday (July 9) afternoon with a pair of unsurprising announcements: “Orphan Back” has been renewed for a third season and the second season of “Broadchurch” will air on BBC America.
Both seasons will air in 2015.
BBC America boasts that the second “Orphan Black” season “became the first ever ad-supported drama series to double its ratings from season one to season two in A25-54 and 18-49 in Live+7.” The season two finale last month drew 1.376 million viewers in Live+7, a series high.
The third “Orphan Black” season will, once again, be 10 episodes and it will, once again, feature Tatiana Maslany playing a wide array of characters. While the overall ratings for “Orphan Black” aren't especially impressive, even after a TCA Award and a Golden Globe nomination for Maslany, BBC America touted a string of interesting facts and figures that don't necessarily relate to pure numbers.
For example: Twitter activity for the show improved by seven times (“septupled,” if you prefer) from Season 1 to Season 2. “Orphan Black” was No.3 on Twitter among ad-supported cable dramas.
That makes sense. I'm not sure I understand this one at all, but BBC America raves that “The 'Orphan Black' Tumblr has had over 750,000 notes from almost 140K fans in season two and there were 11.3 million notes on the 'Orphan Black' topic in the new season.”
Oh and BBC America and “Orphan Black” became the first show to live-tweet a TV show using animated gifs.
So “Orphan Black” will be back and we'll see if Maslany picks up her first Emmy nomination on Thursday (July 10) morning.
As for “Broadchurch,” given that the ITV drama was renewed for a second season long ago and that it earned some of BBC America's best reviews, there was never any question it would be back on the network. Today's only news is the confirmation that the second season will premiere in 2015, but not at any particular point.
It was previously announced in the UK that the second season will feature returning stars including David Tennant, Olivia Colman, Jodie Whittaker, Andrew Buchan and Arthur Darvill, joined by top-notch new faces including Charlotte Rampling, Marianne Jean-Baptiste, James D”Arcy, Eve Myles and Phoebe Waller-Bridge.
In addition to those pieces of returning news, BBC America also announced a pair of new shows on Wednesday.
“Tatau” will be a co-production between BBC America and BBC Three — the co-producing dynamic, or lack thereof, was the reason “Broadchurch” wasn't Emmy-eligible this year — and will be set in the Cook Islands. Written by Richard Zajdlic, “Tatau” is the story of two friends who travel from London to the South Pacific for vacation, but end up being sucked into a murder mystery.
BBC America will team with Carnival Films and BBC Two on “The Last Kingdom,” based on the Bernard Cornwell “Saxon Stories” franchise. Stephen Butchard (“Good Cop”) will adapt the drama, which is set in the year 872 and focuses on a lot of the stuff also currently being covered (or is about to be covered) in History's “Vikings,” specifically the Viking invasion and the reign of Alfred the Great.