National Geographic has given the green light to a second season of Mars, its global event series executive produced by Brian Grazer and Ron Howard. The pickup was announced today during the network’s presentation at TCA.

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The first season of the series, which combined scripted drama and special effects with documentary sequences, was seen by 36 million viewers globally last fall and became the most DVR’ed series in network history. Mars will air globally on National Geographic Channels in 172 countries in 43 languages, and in Spanish on Nat Geo Mundo. The first season is available now for sale in digital HD and coming soon on DVD.

The first season was told from the vantage point of a fictitious crewed mission to Mars in 2033. It was executive produced by Brian Grazer, Ron Howard and Michael Rosenberg of Imagine Entertainment; Justin Wilkes, Jon Kamen, Jonathan Silberberg and Dave O’Connor of RadicalMedia; and Mexican filmmaker Everardo Gout (Days of Grace).

Mars is emblematic of our new breed of premium programming — programming from superb creative talent, like Imagine Entertainment and RadicalMedia, that is unabashedly smart and highly entertaining,” said Courteney Monroe, CEO of National Geographic Global Networks. “With Mars, we were able to truly harness the global power of the brand and amplify it across National Geographic’s media platforms and we are thrilled to be bringing it back for another season.”

“With the genre-busting mix of documentary and drama, we created a really powerful experience for audiences that transported them to a different world, and we’re thrilled to once again work with National Geographic and RadicalMedia to continue this epic story of how humankind made Mars home,” said Grazer.

Added Howard, “With Mars, we wanted to stimulate the imagination of audiences and continue to fire the belief that space exploration is an important, inevitable aspect of the human experience, inspiring the next generation of astronauts. We’re excited to see where the next season will take us.”