AMC has renewed is freshman drama “Halt and Catch Fire” for a second season. The 1980s Texas-set computer drama stars Lee Pace and Scoot McNairy and explores the personal computing boom.
The announcement comes as a surprise considering that, despite strong reviews and an aggressive online campaign, the series opened to just 1.2 million total viewers. By seasons end it averaged around 1.2 million viewers an episode.
Comparatively the network’s 2013 crime drama “Low Winter Sun” had an average of 1.8 million viewers per episode, and that show was canceled after the first season. The network’s other new drama for this Summer, “Turn,” managed a more impressive 2 million viewers per episode average.
In a statement, AMC president Charlie Collier says the network is giving the show time to grow: “This is a show about invention, experimentation and the inherent risks in trying to break new ground – themes that really resonate with us as a network and attracted a passionate audience. We have a history of demonstrating patience through the early seasons of new shows, betting on talent and building audience over time. We see that opportunity here and look forward to a second season.”