Starz has been a pioneer in early renewals, and fans of the subscription network’s drama Black Sails got an extremely early renewal this week. On Friday, Starz announced that Black Sails will definitely return for a fourth season months and months ahead of the show’s Season 3 release. So, there are a lot of Black Sails episodes coming.

The news isn’t a huge surprise by any means. Like Game of Thrones, Downton Abbey and other shows with big budgets and lengthy shooting tenures, Black Sails typically begins shooting before the previous season even airs on the subscription cable network. Thus, it makes sense for the network to announce renewals well in advance so that the creative team can begin to think ahead for the following season. The one downside is that it can be hard for fans to track exactly how many seasons there are and what season the show is heading into. Thank goodness the internet is around to provide that info quickly and painlessly.

The renewal also makes sense considering a slew of Starz subscribers do tune in to watch the series. The first two seasons have averaged 4.5 million viewers an episode. Those numbers are across multiple platforms rather than same-day ratings, but since subscription cable doesn’t rely on Nielson numbers like other channels do, those numbers just mean that a sizable number of people are watching Black Sails.

Season 2 ended with a few big reveals and several plots that still need to be played out, but it will be a while before Season 3 hits the schedule. New episodes of Black Sails are not expected to be unveiled until 2016. Luckily, we do know a little bit about the upcoming episodes, including the fact that Rome’s Ray Stevenson has signed on, and he’ll be playing the iconic character Blackbeard on the show.

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If you’d like to see what Black Sails is about, Starz has certain free episodes available on the subscription streaming channel’s site. If you already are caught up on the series, the network has also put out a first look at Season 3 of Black Sails, which you can check out, below.



In the meantime, if you’d like to see what Starz and other channels have coming up this fall, head here.

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