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Five episodes into its freshman run, drama Snowfall has received an early Season 2 renewal by FX. The announcement comes ahead of the network’s TCA presentation today and the show’s sixth episode airing tonight. The second season of the series, about the start of the crack epidemic in Los Angeles, is slated for 2018.
Snowfall, which launched to mixed-to-positive reviews, got off to a modest linear ratings start and solid DVR gains. Its July 5 premiere drew 2.24 million total viewers in Live+3, 1.3 million of them in the adults 18-49 demographic, trailing most recent FX premieres but up +137% from the debut’s Live+same day delivery.
According to FX, Snowfall is averaging 5 million total viewers across all linear and non-linear (VOD/streaming) platforms and ranks in the Top 5 in most key demos among all new cable drama premieres in 2017 on a Live+7 basis: Adults 18-49 (#4), Adults 18-34 (#4) and Adults 25-54 (#5).
Created by John Singleton & Eric Amadio and Dave Andron, Snowfall is set against the infancy of the crack cocaine epidemic. The story follows numerous characters on a violent collision course, including: Franklin Saint (Damson Idris), young street entrepreneur on a quest for power; Gustavo “El Oso” Zapata (Sergio Peris-Mencheta), a Mexican wrestler caught up in a power struggle within a crime family; Teddy McDonald (Carter Hudson), a CIA operative running from a dark past who begins an off-book operation to fund the Nicaraguan Contras and Lucia Villanueva (Emily Rios), the self-possessed daughter of a Mexican crime lord.
Snowfall, which joins fellow new 2017 FX drama series Legion in securing a second-season renewal, is executive produced by Singleton, Amadio, Andron, Thomas Schlamme, Michael London and Trevor Engelson. Andron serves as showrunner.
Season 1 spent some time carefully setting the scene of South Los Angeles both before the advent of crack, and then during its initial, devastating effects. At TCA, co-creator Dave Andron said Season 2 would move forward at a fast pace, having benefitted from the Season 1 set-up. Of the first season’s slow burn, he said, “I do think that part of the challenge of setting up three different worlds, and three different characters is it requires a little more table setting unfortunately, and we wanted to take a little bit of time.” But moving forward he said, “We would certainly like to hit Season 2 very much with the ground running.”
EP Thomas Schlamme said that for him, the Season 2 pick-up was proof of their stellar cast and writing team. “It’s the privilege of getting to watch them act more,” he said, “and getting these guys to write more. But it’s really this phenomenal ensemble cast that we’ve put together.”
Co-creator John Singleton said the show’s success also lay in the fact that its premise reaches across generations, tapping into a “potent mixture of emotion that people have, and we have a whole new generation that looks at this show from a pop culture standpoint, because their only references to these events and the type of characters in this show is hip-hop music. A lot of things that are happening in this show have only being chronicled in music, specifically in West Coast hip-hop in the last 30 years. So I think the younger people are looking at it serendipitously as, this is the kind of, like, the lore that they’ve heard about, but never seen depicted.”
Singleton also noted that the intent was not to glamorize drug dealing in some way. “We’re not necessarily glorifying the whole thing of being a drug dealer,” he said, “and the quick fix of going from rags to riches and then crash and burn. The drugs are actually the backdrop for the stories of these three characters who have these needs and wants.” Instead the show takes a clear look at what crack cocaine did to destroy those urban areas and ruin the lives of the occupants. “You’re seeing the slow decay of not only the environment, but the structure of these characters,” he said.
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