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Global Crime Drama ‘McMafia’ Returning for Second Season

International crime drama “McMafia” will return to British screens after the BBC ordered a second season of the show.

The first season, starring James Norton (“War and Peace”), was a fictionalized account of Misha Glenny’s bestselling nonfiction book and created and written for TV by Hossein Amini and James Watkins. Glenny, Amini, and Watkins are confirmed as executive producers on the new run.

Amini and Watkins said in a statement: “We are so thrilled with how ‘McMafia’ has resonated with audiences across the world and are delighted to be given the opportunity to cast more light on the shady intersections of transnational criminals and their enablers in finance, law, intelligence agencies and even in governments.”

British pubcaster the BBC said the show’s opening episode is the most popular item on its iPlayer catchup service so far in 2018. The new season will be produced by Cuba Pictures and the BBC. AMC was a co-production partner on the first season, but a BBC spokesman declined to comment on whether it was on board for the new season.

The show follows global crime syndicates as seen through the eyes of the son of a former Russian underworld figure. With real-world relations between Britain and Russia under severe strain at the moment, the series was criticized by the Russian embassy in the U.K. for its depiction of Russians in London.

Piers Wenger, controller of BBC Drama, said: “‘McMafia’s’ blend of topicality and killer storytelling struck a chord with audiences and significantly added to the discourse around Anglo-Russian relations, and we are excited to be returning to that world in the safe and brilliant hands of James and Hoss for Series 2.”

No casting details have been announced. But speaking to Variety ahead of the official BBC announcement, Norton said he loved making the show and felt there were many more stories to tell in that world.

BBC Studios sold the first season widely, including to Amazon in a host of territories, and to Russia via Friday TV.

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