History has ordered a 20-episode fifth season of its popular drama series Vikings for premiere in 2017. In addition, Jonathan Rhys Meyers (The Tudors) has joined the Season 5 cast. Details of his role are being kept under wraps for now. Production on Season 5 is set to begin this summer.

The casting expands Meyers’ relationship with History where he stars in the upcoming Roots remake. It will help fill the void from the pending departure after Season 4 of co-star Clive Standen who was the tapped as the lead of the Taken NBC series. Word is his character is not being killed off, so there is a possibility for him to appear in Season 5 as a guest star. There also had been rumblings that star Tavis Fimmel would depart the series in the foreseeable future as his character, King Ragnar dies.

Vikings was a breakout hit for History when it launched behind the hugely successful Bible miniseries. It had remained History’s only original scripted series until the network recently ordered Navy SEAL drama Six.

3 months
I don't think I can bear to watch without Ragnar!
Mona Myers
3 months
This is one of the best shows on TV. And has 20 episodes instead of the short...
Kay AKrl
3 months
Black Sails! Started a little slow, but gets really good really fast, especially once it gets into...

Vikings is the No. 1 telecast on Thursday nights on cable in all key demos in Live +3, pulling in 4.2 million total viewers, 2.1 million Adults 25-54 and 1.9 million Adults 18-49. The remaining 10 episodes from the 20-episode Season 4 will air later this year.

From creator and sole writer Michael Hirst, Vikings is a family saga that tells the remarkable tales of the lives and epic adventures of the raiders and explorers of the Dark Ages. Hirst serves as executive producer along with Morgan O’Sullivan of World 2000, Sheila Hockin, John Weber of Take 5 Productions, Sherry Marsh, Alan Gasmer and James Flynn.

Vikings is an international Irish/Canadian co-production by World 2000 and Take 5 Productions. MGM Television is the worldwide distributor outside of Ireland and Canada.