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ROME — Paolo Sorrentino is at work on a second series of “The Young Pope,” the hot TV series toplining Jude Law as conservative cigarette-smoking American pontiff Pius XIII, which will have its on-air debut on Rupert Murdoch’s Sky pay-TV Friday, after launching from the Venice Film Festival.

“He is writing the screenplay,” “Young Pope” producer Lorenzo Mieli told Variety. “After we receive it, we will discuss it with Sky, HBO and Canal Plus” and officially re-up for season two, Mieli – who heads Fremantle Media in Italy – added. The plan is to start shooting in the summer of 2018.

“We are of course hoping to do it,” said Sky Italy chief of content Andrea Scrosati, “but nothing is signed yet.”

News that a second series was in early stages had surfaced several days ago during a Rome presentation of the series.

The 10-episode Sky, HBO, and Canal Plus original production will roll out on Sky in Italy on Oct. 21. It will air at the end of October on Sky in the U.K., Germany, Ireland and Austria, and on Canal Plus in France.

The prolific Sorrentino, who won the 2014 foreign-language Oscar with “The Great Beauty,” is also working on a feature film about Silvio Berlusconi and the former Italian prime minister’s inner circle, which is expected to be the next project he will shoot, possibly as early as as summer 2017. The film is working-titled “Loro,” which translates in Italian as “Them.”