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Fox Renews ‘Wayward Pines’ for Season 2, Creator Chad Hodge Departs

Fox has renewed thriller “Wayward Pines” for Season 2, Variety has learned. 10 new episodes are slated for a summer 2016 debut.

Series creator and showrunner Chad Hodge will not return for the second season, though exec producer M. Night Shyamalan is still on board.

Shyamalan will serve as an exec producer with Donald De Line, Ashwin Rajan, Mark Friedman and Blake Crouch, who wrote the “Wayward Pines” books on which the Fox series is based.

“’Wayward Pines’ was a huge hit for us this past summer,” said David Madden, president, entertainment, Fox Broadcasting Company. “We were absolutely blown away by the mysterious and surprising world that Night and his team created, and the twisting-and-turning storytelling that drew viewers in from day one. Season Two is going to take the suspense, the vision of the future and the haunting character drama to whole new levels, and we can’t wait for our fans to continue that ride next year.”

The renewal comes as somewhat of a surprise, as “Wayward Pines” was first introduced as an “event series,” which points to a one-time project. However, after the show’s success, insiders close to the show rumbled that a second season was being discussed.

The pickup is also perhaps a surprise for some viewers, as the ending of the first season wrapped on a cryptic note with the main character Ethan, played by Matt Dillon, dying, along with a number of other key characters. The future of the town was also left hanging — and under the control of its fascistic youth — raising questions.

The new season will pick up where the first left off when a new arrival in Wayward Pines finds himself in the middle of a serious rebellion, as the residents battle over how to preserve the endangered human race. No new casting for Season 2 has been announced.

Though Hodge is no longer attached to “Wayward Pines,” he’s still in business with Crouch. The pair has teamed up for another project, “Good Behavior” on TNT, starring “Downton Abbey’s” Michelle Dockery, which is based on Crouch’s Letty Dobesh novels. “Good Behavior” was ordered to pilot, and is looking toward a series pickup.

For its first run, “Wayward Pines” ranked as the summer’s No. 1 scripted broadcast series among adults 18-49, averaging a multi-platform audience of 9.4 million viewers for the season.

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