HBO has renewed its period drama "Perry Mason" for a second season.
The series, which features Matthew Rhys ("The Americans") and Chris Chalk, who is an alumnus of UNC-Greensboro, was originally billed as a miniseries, but following its early success the network has decided to continue it. The first episode was HBO's most-watched series premiere in nearly two years, according to the network, and the debut episode has now been seen by eight million viewers.
In a statement announcing the renewal, Francesca Orsi, executive vice president of HBO Programming, said, "It has been an exciting journey to work with the immensely talented team behind 'Perry Mason.' Viewers have relished being transported back in time to 1930s Los Angeles each week, and we are thrilled to welcome the show back for a second season."
Chalk, an Asheville native, plays Paul Drake, a beat cop in 1930s L.A. who befriends and works with Perry Mason in the series. Back in June, before the first season debuted, Chalk said he was optimistic the show would get picked up for more episodes.
"What a second season has to offer is a good job expanding on everyone's life," he said. In the "Perry Mason" mythology, as depicted in the original novels and the classic TV series, Paul Drake goes on to become Mason's head investigator. The current series is a prequel that shows the characters in their early days.
The current season still has three episodes to go, including tonight's installment, which airs at 9 p.m. on HBO. The season finale is scheduled to air Aug. 9.