Just under a month before its debut, The Knick is getting a second 10-episode season by Cinemax, it was announced today at the Summer TV Press Tour 2014. The announcement from Kary Antholis, president of HBO Miniseries and Cinemax Programming just before the start of a panel with EP and director Steven Soderbergh and star Clive Owen discussing the new 10-part series set to debut on August 8. “Understanding that they were reorienting that brand, I kind of wanted to be the big kid at that school,” the Oscar winner said soon afterwards of his desire to be on Cinemax. Owen added of his own initial involvement that “Steven called me up and he had the first script and told me he had a 10-part TV series.” Admitting he was hesitant at first, Owen said that once he started reading the first script, “40 minutes later there was no way I was not going to do it.” Soderbergh also said today that he would be directing all 10 episodes of Season 2 of The Knick as he did Season 1. “Practically speaking it’s a much more efficient way to work,” he noted of both the finances and aesthetic of one director handling a project like The Knick.
Co-creator and EPs Jack Amiel and Michael Begler, who wrote the pilot on spec, and cast members André Holland and Eve Hewson were also on hand for today’s Knick panel. Soderbergh and Owen also serve as EPs for the series along with the not present today Gregory Jacobs and Michael Sugar.
While there was a real hospital of the same name, The Knick uses a fictional Knickerbocker Hospital in NYC as its backdrop, said Amiel today. With Owen’s role as Chief Surgeon Dr. John W. Thackery, the series explores issues of racism less than 40 years after the end of the Civil War, women’s rights, immigration, class, corruption, drug addiction and advances in technology and medicine, The Knick seems a perfect fit for the Oscar winner who has said he has left film behind for the world of TV. It seems to be one for Owen as well. “I’m lucky to be involved in something I’m very passionate about,” the actor told the TCA.