After multiple false starts and lengthy stays in development hell, 2016 finally saw Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon’s Preacher comic book series get adapted for the screen. Spearheaded by the team of Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg (This is the End), Preacher arrived on AMC to much fanfare, earning critical raves and widespread fan approval for managing to capture the essence of the notoriously edgy source material. Now, a mere five episodes into its 10-episode debut season, AMC has repaid this goodwill by renewing Preacher for season 2.
For those unfamiliar with the property, Preacher stars Dominic Cooper (Agent Carter) as titular small-town preacher Jesse Custer, a man internally debating whether to remain faithful to his church. Following his possession by a mysterious spiritual entity known as Genesis, Jesse is granted powerful supernatural abilities, and soon attracts the unwanted attention of a pair of shady government agents named Fiore (Tom Brooke) and DeBlanc (Anatol Yusef). Accompanying this changed man of God down his altered path are his badass ex-girlfriend Tulip (Ruth Negga) and his recently acquired Irish vampire friend Cassidy (Joe Gilgun).
Following the usual pattern for AMC original series, season 2 of Preacher will expand slightly on the size of season 1, with the network ordering 13-episodes this time out. As one might expect, Rogen and Goldberg are set to return as executive producers, along with showrunner Sam Catlin. With season 2 of Preacher now official, those who tend to avoid starting new series for fear of an early cancellation can now feel free to catch-up on what they’ve missed. Speaking of which, AMC is making catching up an easy process by having a marathon of all 5 previouslyaired Preacher episodes scheduled for June 30th.
On the business end, while Preacher’s ratings are far from the huge numbers drawn by AMC flagship The Walking Dead, it’s still done well enough to become the #2 rated new cable series of the year so far. Preacher’s numbers improve even more when live plus three day viewing is considered, with each episode averaging 3.3 million total viewers. Even if the ratings had been worse though, AMC has a history of rarely cutting and running on its original endeavors, usually giving them at least two seasons to try and find an audience. Thankfully for Preacher, it already appears to have done that.
Will Preacher reach the pop culture heights of other AMC hits like The Walking Dead and Breaking Bad? Probably not, but there’s nothing wrong with being a niche series with a dedicated cult audience, just as long as enough people tune in to keep earning renewals. In the meantime, Preacher fans are guaranteed at least 13 more hours of the strange journey of Jesse Custer.
Preacher airs Sundays at 9pm on AMC.
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