When it comes to original programming, Cinemax may be leagues behind corporate sibling HBO. However, while the latter may has a long history delivering hits like current like current flagship series Game of Thrones, the former looks like it might be catching up.
Back in 2011, Cinemax earned its best ratings in years with the premiere of UK action series Strike Back. That show was the first sign that the network was on the verge of becoming a major player in original programming, and since then, the 2013 premiere of Banshee has cemented that fact. Now comes news indicating that Banshee may be Cinemax's signature hit.
According to Deadline, Cinemax has renewed Banshee for season 3, despite the fact that the show is only a few episodes into its second season. On the show, Anthony Starr plays an ex-con who assumes the identity as sheriff of a small Amish town; Ivana Miličević and Ulrich Thomsen star as his former lover and the local crime kingpin, respectively. The series was created by David Schickler and novelist Jonathan Tropper, with Alan Ball (True Blood) among its producers.
The show's early renewal is a bold move on the part of Cinemax and one that demonstrates a tremendous amount of faith in its long-term prospects. After all, the only major original series that the network has on the air is the aforementioned Strike Back (which was also recently renewed for its final season). The fact that Banshee has managed to develop a consistent viewership – without any name stars or connections of pre-existing properties (even Game of Thrones has the popularity of the book series behind it) – could be reason enough for Cinemax to let the show bloom.
The network already has about a half-dozen other action-centric shows in various stages of development and is likely hoping that the success of Banshee can help bolster the chances of success with those upcoming projects, a strategy that could very well pay off in the near future. However, that all depends on whether Banshee can stand the test of time and prove that Cinemax is a worthy destination for quality original shows. If Banshee is any indication, the answer may be a resounding "yes."
Are you looking forward to another season of Banshee, or is the series already running out of steam? Let us know in the comments section below.
Banshee airs Fridays at 10pm on Cinemax.