WGN America has picked up a second season of its first original, scripted drama Salem, it was announced today by Matt Cherniss, President and General Manager, WGN America and Tribune Studios. Salem, which is being renewed three episodes into its first season, is produced by Fox 21 and co-created and written by Brannon Braga and Adam Simon, who also serve as executive producers with Jeff Kwatinetz and Josh S. Barry of Prospect Park and David Von Ancken. The 13-episode second season will begin production later this year for a 2015 debut.
Starring Janet Montgomery, Shane West, Seth Gabel, Xander Berkeley, Ashley Madekwe, Tamzin Merchant, Elise Eberle and Iddo Goldberg, Salem continues for ten episodes, airing Sundays at 10 p.m. ET / 9 p.m. CT.
Here's what WGN President Matt Cherniss had to say about the renewal in a statement.
"At WGN America, we are committed to delivering compelling, brand-defining programming rich with fascinating characters and Salem has done just that. Brannon Braga, Adam Simon, the talented cast and our great partners at Fox 21 have opened up an intriguing world that has captivated viewers. We look forward to bringing more great storytelling, scares and surprises to viewers as the saga unfolds."
Series creator/executive producer Brannon Braga had this to say in his statement.
"I could not be more thrilled or more proud of our cast, writers and crew who made this show come alive. The fans have been fantastic and we plan to continue keeping them on the edge of their seats."
Salem's debut premiered with more than 3.4 million Total Viewers and 1.5 million Adults 18-49 in time-shifted Live + 7 viewing for its premiere night on April 20. Through its first two telecasts in Live + 3 viewing, Salem has averaged nearly 1.7 million Total Viewers and 806,000 among Adults 18-49, a +776% increase over the network's Adults 18-49 season-to-date average on Sundays at 10 p.m. ET.
Salem boldly re-imagines the infamous witch trials in the 17th century Massachusetts town. The storyline follows Captain John Alden (West) returning from war to his hometown of Salem where he finds it in the grip of a witch panic. Crushed that his lost love, Mary Sibley (Montgomery), is now married to his old nemesis, John is unaware she is also secretly the ruling witch of Salem, and her witches are running the witch trials.
In Sunday's fourth episode, "Survivors" an old adversary of Alden's arrives in Salem with secrets that could destroy him.