Sky Atlantic has renewed their ambitious original drama series Fortitude for a second season. The pick up, which is for a further 10 episodes, comes just ahead of the season one finale. Participant Media’s Pivot network in the United States will again co-produce.
“Simon Donald created a unique and unsettling story which, week after week, has captivated our customers”, said Zai Bennett, Director of Sky Atlantic. “I am absolutely delighted that we will be bringing Fortitude back next year with a story that promises to engage, challenge and enthral us all over again. “
From Simon Donald and Tiger Aspect’s Fifty Fathoms, Fortitude’s first season told the story of a mysterious death in a close-knit community in the Arctic Circle and starred Stanley Tucci (The Hunger Games), Michael Gambon (Harry Potter), Christopher Eccleston (Doctor Who), Sofie Gråbøl (The Killing) and Richard Dormer (Game of Thrones).
Series creator Simon Donald is returning as the lead writer on the second season and will create “a brand new 10 part story set again in the unsettling Arctic town”. Patrick Spence, Frith Tiplady, Anne Mensah and Lizzie Gray will also return to executive produce, while Sky said that casting for the second season would be confirmed at a later date.
Fortitude has proven to be the break-out original drama hit that Sky has been searching for the past couple of years as they have been making an aggressive push into UK originals (on which they spend some £600 million a year). The premiere episode has reached a cumulative audience of 2.66 million viewers and the series is averaging just shy of 1.7 million viewers – making it Sky Atlantic’s most successful original commission.
In addition, the series has proved to be a global hit, with international distributor Sky Vision having lined up deals for Fortitude with more than 100 broadcasters around the world. Not to mention the fact that they managed to secure Pivot as a co-producer after original US partner Starz backed out.