LOVEFilM has picked up the UK broadcast rights to the upcoming 10 episode second season of History’s original drama series Vikings from international distributor MGM Television, TVWise has learned. The second season of the series will premiere on LOVEFiLM in HD on Friday February 28th, just 24 hours after its broadcast state-side on History. Subsequent episodes of the season will then be made available every Friday.
Created by Michael Hirst, Vikings follows the adventures of Ragnar Lothbrok, a historical figure, and the greatest hero of his age – and the gripping sagas of Ragnar’s band of Viking brothers and his family – as he rises to become King of the Viking tribes. The drama series stars Gabriel Byrne (In Treatment), Travis Fimmel (The Beast), Jessalyn Gilsig (Glee), Gustaf Skarsgard (The Way Back), Clive Standen (Camelot) and Katheryn Winnick (Stand Up Guys).
In the show’s second season, the notorious Norse warrior Ragnar Lothbrok (Fimmel) uses his new position as Earl to continue to plunder, pillage and explore new kingdoms with his band of fearless warriors. Now allied with King Horrik (Donal Logue), Ragnar is more powerful than ever. However, this new-found power comes at great cost – the betrayal of his vicious brother Rollo (Standen), the deterioration of his marriage to the fearless shield-maiden Lagertha (Winnick), and the scorn of his bold warrior son, Bjorn (Alexander Ludwig).
The deal for season two of Vikings comes after the Amazon owned streaming service inked a deal with MGM last year to pick up the first season, with all 9 episodes currently available on LOVEFiLM. It also comes at a time when the streaming site is looking to increase its offering of exclusive content, with a number of Amazon original series, such as Alpha House and Betas, so as to better compete with the likes of Netflix. LOVEFiLM is also understood to be engaged in talks with the BBC and Tiger Aspect to revive the recently cancelled BBC One period drama Ripper Street.
“Vikings‘ has been a huge hit with our members and received incredible feedback, so we’re thrilled to start 2014 with a bang by bringing the horde back to British screens in the eagerly anticipated second season”, said Chris Bird, Director of Film Strategy at LOVEFiLM. “With Michael Hirst at the helm the ‘VIKINGS’ storyline contains something for everyone – love, conflict, revenge, adventure and of course epic battle scenes worthy of Viking folklore.”
While Chris Ottinger, President of International Television Distribution & Acquisitions for MGM Television, added: “MGM is thrilled about Vikings global success, with the series viewed in almost every market in the world. It is truly gratifying that audiences around the globe connected deeply with the incredible performances and storytelling from this stellar cast of talented artists. We are excited to further our relationship with LOVEFiLM to bring the highly-anticipated second season of Vikings to their subscribers in 2014, and offering the opportunity to stream the latest episodes within 24 hours of the U.S. airdate, watching every epic battle in high-definition.”