Smithsonian Channel has signed on for a second season of TCB Media Rights and Woodcut Media’s “Combat Ships.”

Smithsonian has handed an 8 x 60’ episode order for season two, set to air on its U.S. and U.K. channels. Filming has already commenced, with a summer air date in the works.

The second season of the show is deficit financed and distributed internationally by TCB Media Rights, a London-based factual distributor that has played a trailblazing role in commissioning and funding programs outside the traditional broadcaster-led system.

Season two – which sits within a ‘Combat’ franchise that includes “Combat Trains” and “Combat Machines” – takes an in-depth look at some of the most influential military sea vessels in history and their strategic roles, such as the Viking Longships and the Japanese warship Yamato.

The show features a number of interviews with prominent historians, re-enactments, archive footage and 3D graphics.

Exec producers on season two include Woodcut Media’s Kate Beal and Adam Jacobs, TCB Media Rights’ Paul Heaney and Smithsonian Channel’s John Cavanagh.

David Royle, chief programming officer for Smithsonian Channel, said: “‘Combat Ships’ is a terrific blend of military history, maritime engineering and great story telling. We are delighted to be working again with Woodcut – they have a real flair for creating the type of well-paced, visually rich, factual entertainment that our audiences crave on both sides of the Atlantic.”

Kate Beal, CEO of Woodcut Media, added: “Our franchise has grown exponentially as demand for premium military history series never seems to wane. TCB have been a great partner, and the Smithsonian Channel marks a new prestigious platform to premiere this latest instalment of ‘Combat Ships’ which shines the light on some of the most magnificent seafaring vessels used in warfare throughout history.”

Jimmy Humphrey, head of acquisitions for TCB Media Rights, said: “The ‘Combat’ franchise is right in the sweet spot for TCB and with long-time partners Woodcut and Smithsonian Channel at the helm for the most ambitious iteration so far, this is an exciting project to be involved with. We’re adding ships to the ever-present need for planes, trains and automobiles series.”