FX has been steadily growing its original programming lineup for years. This summer, the network added Tyrant to its lineup and on Thursday, FX announced that the Middle East drama will be returning to the schedule for a second season. The steady performer will begin airing Season 2 during the summer of 2015.
While Tyrant had a pretty loyal following this summer and managed to create a little buzz, I’m not surprised it took FX a little time to commit to renewing the program. Tyrant’s first season finished running at the end of August, meaning it took the cable network three weeks to decide whether or not to give Tyrant a second season order. After getting middling reviews early on, Tyrant became a steady performer, averaging more than a million viewers in live time and pulling in roughly 5 million viewers an episode counting DVR and other formats. Those numbers may not be great when compared to some of FX’s heavy hitting performers like Sons of Anarchy and Justified, but it’s tougher to land an audience during the summer, and I see why the network ultimately decided to give Tyrant a second chance.
The FX announcement also notes that the drama will actually be getting more episodes next summer, nabbing a 13-episode order rather than a 10-episode order this time around. President of original programming Nick Grad mentions showrunner Howard Gordan as one of the reasons the network is confident in the series.
“We’re so proud of Tyrant’s performance throughout its first season. Howard Gordon is one of the best and most successful producers in this business. His ability to combine intelligent, edge-of-your-seat storytelling with events from the current geopolitical climate is truly groundbreaking. We look forward to seeing how Tyrant grows in season two.”
Tyrant suffered from a few poor reviews early on, thanks to a pilot that was seen as dull by many reviewers. Our own Kelly West felt the series had a pacing issue, noting the show’s biggest challenge was its “lack of momentum,” but as the series went on it did pick up somewhat and managed to find a steady audience each week. The show has a great showrunner and airs on a well-watched network. Let’s just hope that the writers can get it together in Season 2 and deliver the evil-oriented, high-octane drama promised in the early footage for the series. Because if it doesn’t, I would be shocked if Tyrant lived to see Season 3.
It will be some time before Tyrant returns to the lineup, but we'll let you know as soon as FX figures out its summer scheduling plans.