HBO has faith in Treme, giving a second-season renewal to the New Orleans-set drama after airing the premiere episode on Sunday. Like David Simon’s previous series for HBO, The Wire, the post-Katrina Treme, which Simon created with Eric Overmyer, is getting solid reviews and will probably rely on similar narrow but devoted following.
Treme already is tracking higher than The Wire, drawing 1.1 million viewers in its Sunday night premiere, up from an average of 890,000 viewers who turned in for the original airings of The Wire‘s final fifth season.
But ratings were never a factor in HBO’s decision. “This is too good of a show and too important of a show not to invest in a second season,” HBO’s president of programming Michael Lombardo said. He said the network’s brass originally planned to pick up the show last week and then were scheduling a conference call with Simon and Overmyer for yesterday but put that on hold because it was the day of the funeral of Treme co-executive producer David Mills.
Production on the second season of the show, starring Wendell Pierce, Steve Zahn, Clarke Peters and Khandi Alexander, will start in the fall in New Orleans. With the renewal of Treme, all of HBO’s new series launched in the past couple of years have gone the distance, getting second-year renewals. Awaiting word on its faith is another freshman show, comedy “How to Make It in America.”