AMC is currently one of the most successful cable networks on TV right now, thanks to the massive success of The Walking Dead, and though it’s highly unlikely that any other show will soon come close to matching the zombie drama’s ratings, AMC still has some reliable series to keep populating its schedule with. The latest to get a dose of good news is the martial arts drama Into the Badlands, which has been renewed for Season 2.
As AMC has done with many of its series in the past, the network is upping its episode order for Season 2 of Into the Badlands. While Season 1 was only given six episodes to open up this far-reaching tale of fighters and power-grabs, Season 2 will get an additional four episodes, bringing the total to ten. Still not in the realm of The Walking Dead and its companion series Fear the Walking Dead, but that’s the same number of episodes in both seasons of Better Call Saul, so this isn’t necessarily an issue of wariness on AMC’s part.
There is a bit of bad news attached to this renewal, though. Season 1 ended back on December 20, and so this relatively late network decision means that Season 2 won’t come together in its entirety until some point in 2017. At least that gives the network a lot of opportunities to re-air the series in binge-friendly marathons while also trying to get people to stream it in the interim.
Although Into the Badlands’ ratings took the kind of downfall that would make it an instant one-and-done on broadcast networks, the drama is still doing strong for cable standards. After the series premiere brought in 6.3 million viewers for the live airing, the numbers were already down to around 2.5 million by the fourth episode. (Episode 3 saw a small boost thanks to the Walking Dead midseason finale as a lead-in, which included an extra scene that aired during Into the Badlands’ first commercial break.) Still, AMC says the show averaged 5.6 million viewers after Live+7 tallies were accounted for, and that it was the third highest-rated debut season of any cable TV show in history. So that’s something.
Into the Badlands stars Daniel Wu, Aramis Knight, Marton Csokas, Emily Beecham and more in an epic story about a loyal assassin, a teenaged wonder, a powerful Baron and a badass swordswoman, as well as the feudal setting they call home. It’s a show where the story admittedly might take a backseat to the stunning martial arts sequences, which boast such behind-the-scenes talent as the iconic fight choreographer Ku Huen-chiu (Fist of Legend) and actor/director Stephen Fung (Tai Chi 0). I wish that it would usher in a new wave of TV martial arts dramas, but maybe by the time Season 2 and Iron Fist get here…
AMC has now renewed all three of its scripted shows that debuted in 2015, with Into the Badlands joining Fear the Walking Dead and Humans. The network also has more debuts lined up for the rest of 2016, including Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg’s The Preacher adaptation, and it recently ordered the oil empire drama The Son to series.
Again, there’s no telling exactly when Into the Badlands will return to AMC, but if you just clear every Sunday in 2017, you’re going to be free to watch it. I swear on Quinn’s poppies.