DirecTV has made a big commitment to original drama series “Kingdom” with a 20-episode renewal coming just a week after its premiere.
Production on the Endemol Studios series is to begin next spring on 10 episodes to air next fall, with the following 10 slated to air in 2016. The satcaster is loading up on “Kingdom” even as it prepares for its merger with AT&T, which could bring major changes to DirecTV over the long term.
“Kingdom” revolves around a group of Mixed Martial Arts devotees in living in the Venice area of Los Angeles. Frank Grillo, Kiele Sanchez, Matt Lauria, Jonathan Tucker and Nick Jonas star. Byron Balasco is creator and showrunner.
DirecTV said “Kingdom” marks one of the most-watched series to date on its Audience Network channel devoted to original programs, imports from overseas and select off-network acquisitions.
“DirecTV could not be more thrilled by the response that last week’s premiere of Kingdom elicited from both critics and our viewers,” said Chris Long, DirecTV’s senior veep of original content and production. “The series very clearly resonated with DirecTV subscribers and we eagerly anticipate sharing these additional 20 episodes with them and further exploring the compelling world that Byron Balasco has created.”
The sizable pickup is a boon to Endemol, which is awaiting a merger of its own as it consolidates operations with 21st Century Fox’s Shine Group.
“Knowing that ‘Kingdom’ will be on the schedule for years to come is a milestone. Getting an additional twenty episodes is a great testament to ‘Kingdom,’ to Byron’s talent as a writer and show runner and to our cast and crew,” said Philippe Maigret, CEO of Endemol Studios.