In spite of low premiere ratings for the nascent HBO 70’s drama Vinyl, the Home Box Office has already renewed the show for a second year. The two-hour premiere of the series, which centers around the drug-fueled drama of record label American Century, was viewed by just 764,000 viewers.
That’s low for a big-budget, high-profile HBO event series (it was co-created by Martin Scorsese, Mick Jagger, Rich Cohen, and Terence Winter). Other shows, like True Detective (2.33 million), The Newsroom (2.14 million), and The Leftovers (1.77 million) all saw comparatively larger numbers in their pilots.
Given the recent status of HBO’s troubled Westworld, the final season announcement of The Leftovers, and the worldwide pastime it became to make fun of True Detective season two, it makes a bit of sense why the network is keeping Vinyl around for another year, despite its dim premiere ratings. Other than Game of Thrones, it needs more hour-long dramas to rely on in the foreseeable future.
Having reviewed the first five episodes of the series, I can say that anyone put off by the somber and slow burn of the two-hour pilot should definitely stick around for more. The show’s subsequent hours only get better, give off a higher energy, and become altogether far more fun to watch.