FX’s ‘Shōgun’ Secures Multi-Season Renewal Amid Record Viewership!

Parag Nanda

FX’s 'Shōgun' Secures Multi-Season Renewal Amid Record Viewership!

FX and Hulu are gearing up for more of the breakout drama “Shōgun.” The Disney-owned network announced on Thursday that they are working with the estate of author James Clavell to extend “Shōgun” for two additional seasons. However, the final decision will depend on the development of the creative content, as both seasons are currently in the early stages of development.

A writers’ room is being assembled and is set to open in the summer to explore the continuation of “Shōgun” beyond Clavell’s original novel. Key figures from the first season, including co-creators, executive producers, and writers Justin Marks and Rachel Kondo, executive producer Michaela Clavell, and star and producer Hiroyuki Sanada, are all involved in the development process.

“Shōgun,” which wrapped its first season in late April, has quickly become FX’s most-watched show ever, based on global hours streamed. The 10-episode first season is currently available for binge-watching on Hulu.

This announcement follows a leak on May 10 suggesting that FX was considering extending what many had initially thought was a limited series. The timing of the leak coincided with the deadline for Emmy submissions, prompting FX to decide whether “Shōgun” would compete as an ongoing drama series or in the limited series categories. Sources indicate that FX has submitted “Shōgun” in the drama categories.

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Hiroyuki Sanada, the star of the series, has previously signed an “if-come” deal, meaning he would return to the franchise if FX successfully develops additional seasons. Should FX formally greenlight the second and third seasons, Sanada would reprise his role.

“Shōgun,” initially billed as a limited series, is the most expensive scripted show FX has ever produced. The network invested years into developing the series, which is based on James Clavell’s 1975 novel of the same name. This is the second adaptation of the novel, following NBC’s miniseries in 1980, starring Richard Chamberlain.

The series debut garnered nine million streaming views globally across Hulu, Disney+, and Star+. In March, Disney stated that these numbers marked the best worldwide debut to date for a general entertainment scripted series, excluding those under the Marvel, Star Wars, Disney Branded TV, Pixar, or National Geographic banners.

In a February interview with The Hollywood Reporter, FX CEO John Landgraf expressed openness to producing more high-budget programming if “Shōgun” proved successful. “It depends on how successful it is and whether there’s an appetite for it,” he said.

“Ultimately, the audience gets to decide whether it’s something they want. I would hope if we were able to do something like that it wouldn’t take 11 years. So no, I can’t imagine spending another 11 years working on something else but working hard on something to get it right and make it big and detailed as well as really deep in terms of character and the human condition, as long as there’s appetite for that in the viewers, I think it’ll be possible at times to do that kind of work.”

FX’s 'Shōgun' Secures Multi-Season Renewal Amid Record Viewership!

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Co-creator Justin Marks, speaking alongside Rachel Kondo, reflected on the future of the series in a post-finale interview with The Hollywood Reporter. “I think if we had a story if we could find a story, we would be open to it,” Marks said.

“But I don’t think that anyone ever wants to be out over their skis without a roadmap and everything. And it’s also just about, do people want more of it? But it’s also about, not even topping the book, but, how do you even equal the roadmap that Clavell laid out? And I don’t know if it’s possible. I don’t know if Clavell could have done it either. That’s probably why he moved on to other books too, right? He knew what he had done. Yeah, it’s a tough one.”

Hiroyuki Sanada echoed these sentiments during a recent conversation about the finale. “We’ve been talking about how the story can continue since we started shooting, but who knows,” he said.

“Shōgun” has clearly resonated with audiences and critics alike, with its blend of historical drama, intricate character development, and high production values. As FX and Hulu look to build on this success, fans can anticipate more epic storytelling and exploration of Clavell’s rich narrative world in the potential new seasons. The development of additional seasons highlights the series’ impact and the strong demand for more content from viewers, making the future of “Shōgun” a highly anticipated venture in the world of television.

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