Ahead of its Season 1 finale on Thursday, USA Network has renewed freshman drama series Queen of the South, with veteran writer-producer Natalie Chaidez (12 Monkeys) joining as showrunner. She will succeed Scott Rosenbaum who ran Season 1.

The series, which took awhile to get to the screen, debuting more than a year after getting a series order, has been a solid performer for USA, delivering an average of 2.26MM total viewers in Live+7. It has ranked as Thursday’s No. 1 cable entertainment program in Prime among P18-49s (952K) and P25-54s (1.08MM), throughout its run.

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Based on best-selling book La Reina Del Sur by Arturo Pérez-Reverte, Queen Of The South tells the powerful story of Teresa Mendoza (Alice Braga), woman who is forced to run and seek refuge in America after her drug-dealing boyfriend is unexpectedly murdered in Mexico. In the process, she teams with an unlikely figure from her past to bring down the leader of the very drug trafficking ring that has her on the run. The title got attention in the U.S. in January when Kate del Castillo, the actress who played Teresa Mendoza in La Reina Del Sur, became implicated in the El Chapo saga.

The series also stars Verónica Falcón as Camila Vargas, Justina Machado as Brenda Parra, Peter Gadiot as James Valdez, Hemky Madera as Pote Galvez and Gerardo Taracena as Cesar “Batman” Guemes. The season one finale features guest star Rafael Amaya (El Señor de los Cielos) in a crossover appearance as Aurelio Casillas

Chaidez recently created and executive produced Hunters, which ran on Syfy for one season. She was executive producer for Syfy’s 12 Monkeys and was also a co-executive producer on Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles and Heroes. At USA, she previously worked on Necessary Roughness and In Plain Sight.

Queen of the South was developed by M.A. Fortin & Joshua John Miller and is executive produced by David T. Friendly. Fox 21 Television Studios developed and produced the pilot via Fox TV Studios, and runs lead on the co-production with Universal Cable Productions.