No surprises here: Syfy Channel announced today that it has given its new scripted sci-fi drama Defiance a second season.
The series has performed well in its four episodes aired so far, opening with 2.73 million viewers (Live + Same Day) for the 2-hour pilot last month. Normal post-hype erosion has brought the series down to 2.15 million viewers for Monday’s episode.
But Defiance certainly does its job in the key demographic of adults 18 to 49. The network said that, with DVR-delayed numbers in, the premiere was the second largest series premiere among that demo in network history. (The highest, if memory serves, would still be 2004’s bow of Stargate Atlantis.)
The companion video game has seen more than 1 million registered accounts to date.
Syfy has ordered another 13-episode season of Defiance, to air in 2014. Production begins in Toronto in August.
The show stars Grant Bowler, Julie Benz, Stephanie Leonidas, Tony Curran, Jaime Murray, Graham Greene, and Mia Kirshner in a story set in the near future on a radically terraformed Earth.
Kevin Murphy will continue to serve as executive producer and showrunner, with Darren Swimmer and Todd Slavkin (Smallville) returning as executive producers. Michael Taylor will serve as a consulting producer.
The cable channel definitely needs a win here: It has reportedly invested tens of millions of dollars in the venture, not only to produce the television show but to help developer Trion Worlds get the MMO-RPG up and running. If ratings stay even passable, expect Syfy to try and amortize that investment over several seasons.