After an unexpectedly solid ratings run in the summer, boosted by strong DVR lifts, Fox’s psychological thriller Wayward Pines has been renewed for a 10-episode second season to air next summer.
M. Night Shyamalan is back as an executive producer of the series, which will have a new showrunner in Season 2. Chad Hodge, who wrote the adaptation of Blake Crouch’s best-selling series of books, won’t return, with Believe creator Mark Friedman set as new showrunner. Hodge has a new project based on Crouch books, Good Behavior, which just wrapped production on a pilot at TNT starring Michelle Dockery.
The second season will pick up in the wake of Season One, when a new arrival in Wayward Pines finds himself in the middle of a serious rebellion, as the residents battle over how to preserve the endangered human race.
“Wayward Pines was a huge hit for us this past summer,” Fox Entertainment president David Madden said. “We were absolutely blown away by the mysterious and surprising world that Night and his team created, and the twisting-and-turning storytelling that drew viewers in from day one.”
Season One of Wayward Pines ranked as Summer 2015’s No. 1 broadcast scripted series among Adults 18-49, averaging a 2.2 rating. The series – about a Secret Service agent on a mission to find two missing federal agents in a sleepy Northwest town, earned a multi-platform average audience of 9.4 million, which represents a +145% increase versus its Live+Same Day audience – the largest multi-platform lift versus Live+Same Day ever for a Fox drama.
Debuting exactly two years after it was picked up, Wayward Pines got off to an unremarkable start against the season finales of Scandal and The Blacklist and the NBA playoffs, opening below Gracepoint to a soft 1.0 adults 18-49 rating in Live+Same Day. But then the Shyamalan-directed premiere almost doubled its demo delivery in Live+3, posting a record percentage DVR lift for a Fox opener and a 2014-15 new series debut on any network — 90% — to rise to a 1.9 rating. The premiere added two more tenths in L+7 to get to a 2.1.
Proving that the ratings spike was more than viewer curiosity in sampling a TV effort from The Sixth Sense filmmaker, Wayward Pines continued to post big DVR lifts. And demonstrating again how misleading Live+SD ratings are these days, while the mystery drama declined in Week 4 in L+SD — it posted 1.0, 1.2, 1.2, 1.1 in 18-49 for the four telecasts — in L+7 it actually hit a series high in Week 4 (2.1, 2.3, 2.2, 2.4). The 118% lift the show got from L+SD to L+7 set a record for the biggest ever percentage-wise for a summer series.
The somewhat surprisingly solid and consistent ratings performance by Wayward Pines did not go unnoticed, with the network starting discussions back in June about a second season. Because of the long time frame between the project’s pickup/production and its airdate, the options on all actors had lapsed long ago. (Wayward Pines’ Season 1 cast included Matt Dillon, Carla Gugino and Melissa Leo.) The idea was to explore a potential second installment with different characters and cast but in the same world, which would not be a straight anthology format.
Wayward Pines is a production of 20th Century Fox Television. The series is executive-produced by Donald De Line, Ashwin Rajan, Mark Friedman, Blake Crouch and M. Night Shyamalan.