The Age of Aquarius will continue for NBC, now that the network has seen fit to renew the 1960s-set drama for a second season to air next summer.
David Duchovny stars as an honest cop in the Summer of Love, navigating a politically charged and socially transforming climate as he investigates a sinister musician named Charles Manson (Gethin Anthony). Emma Dumont, Grey Damon and Claire Holt all co-star.
Aquarius represented a daring experiment for NBC, with the entire 13-episode season becoming available online following the TV premiere. Ratings on the small screen have been modest, but NBC cites the show’s performance on digital platforms, where viewers could choose to binge-watch the season, as the driving force behind the renewal.
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According to the network, Aquarius boasted the most-watched 24 hours for a summer series premiere ever on NBC.com and the NBC app, which led NBC Digital (comprising those two platforms and Hulu) to its biggest summer weekend ever. On top of that, it remains the #2 most-viewed drama premiere ever on digital platforms (The Blacklist has it beat).
NBC’s Jennifer Salke said:
“With its riveting drama and innovative release strategy, ‘Aquarius’ has excited the critics, hooked millions of viewers and energized our summer. It’s no secret that the way people watch television is evolving, so we took a unique approach to how we delivered ‘Aquarius’ and it’s driven some record numbers for NBC Digital and helped us reach viewers who might have otherwise overlooked a great summer drama.”
Added Robert Hayes, NBC’s executive vp of digital entertainment:
“Beyond generating some truly impressive view totals, the network’s unique release strategy with Aquarius has helped us gain new insights into viewership patterns, binging behavior and social engagement, significantly expanding our knowledge of how people are watching our shows online.”
Aquarius definitely appears to have paid off for the network as it explores the possibility of tapping into viewers’ binge-viewing habits, fueled by Netflix and Amazon Prime, so it’s not that much of a surprise that NBC has decided to double down on it. Prospects for summer series American Odyssey and A.D. are a little less rosy.