HBO‘s Looking has been a growth story, and now the gay-themed freshman dramedy has been given a second-season renewal. It comes after a third consecutive week of series highs posted by the ensemble comedy this past Sunday when it drew 519,000 viewers at 10:30 PM, up 54% from the series premiere five weeks ago. Including encores, Looking averaged 749,000 viewers on Sunday, with its episodes attracting gross audience of 2 million viewers season to date. Despite Looking‘s soft ratings start last month, HBO brass were encouraged by the attention the show had been getting as they consider a show being part of the cultural conversation as important (and sometimes even more important) than ratings. As Looking‘s current HBO companion, Girls, has proven, the two are very much related, with the buzz surrounding Looking bringing more and more eyeballs.
Created by Michael Lannan, Looking stars Jonathan Groff, Frankie J. Alvarez and Murray Bartlett as friends in San Francisco who explore the fun and sometimes overwhelming options available to a new generation of gay men. Joining the trio as new regulars for Season 2 are Lauren Weedman, Raúl Castillo and Russell Tovey who are all recurring this season. Lannan, Andrew Haigh and Sarah Condon executive produce.
Of HBO’s current Sunday lineup, Girls and Looking have now been renewed. True Detective‘s pickup for a second cycle also is considered a formality after HBO recently inked a new deal with series creator Nic Pizzolatto, though that process is more elaborate given the nature of the show where each season features a different story and characters.