Starz Renews Black Sails Even Though Black Sails Doesn't Premiere for Five Months

By Tim Surette

Jul 26, 2013

Renewal, ho! Wait! I'm not calling you a woman of questionable morals and, err, loose lips. I'm doing a whole pirate-themed announcement because—oh, never mind. 

Starz has renewed its pirate drama Black Sails for a second season. "Great!" you say. "Maybe I'll check out Season 1!" Well, you're going to have to wait a while, because Season 1 hasn't even debuted. That's right, Starz, well-known by now for its early renewals, has outdone itself by granting Black Sails a second season a whopping FIVE MONTHS before the first season premieres, says The Hollywood Reporter.

Black Sails will depart on its maiden voyage in January, but production on Season 2 will start this November. That obviously means you won't be able to bitch on message boards with complaints and expect to see course corrections four or five episodes later. Starz CEO Chris Albrecht said that positive response from an early screening at Comic-Con last week prompted the early renewal. But if all networks made business decisions based on the opinions of Comic-Con audiences, Firefly and anything else with even the smallest special effect or a mention of time travel would still be on, wouldn't it?  

Lord of Explosions Michael Bay is producing the series, which follows Captain Flint (Toby Stephens) two years before the events of Treasure Island. Thar be pirates, thar be wenches, and thar be booty of all definitions. Season 1 will run for eight episodes, and Season 2 will expand with 10 episodes. 

It's a risky move for Starz to put so much stock in a show before it even airs, but hey, that's Starz for ya. 

Here's the Season 1 trailer:


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  • carolbakermurray May 14, 2014

    I watched 1 1/2 episodes of Black Sails and think it's one of the worst programs on television. I, for one, wish it had been cancelled.

  • ultimameteora Dec 17, 2013

    I wondering which pirate show will be better this or NBC's Crossbones.

  • ekim726 Aug 08, 2013

    I was reading some articles on my Galaxy Note using some program called flipboards or something like that and saw something about a show I used to watch, Sliders! Does anyone remember that show, it was butchered by the execs and they showed it out of order and most people couldn't follow it at the beginning because things were happening out of place. This show most certainly would have been cancelled with todays TV execs, and you know what, it survived for 5 full seasons and this was because stations didn't get scared away by slow starts and actually believed in their showrunners, where nowadays shows get the hook after 3 episodes, before the show finishes telling the audience what the show is about. You know what, the show wasn't the best ever, but it has a cult following and did very well for the stations that ran it so when shows get renewed before airing I say Good on them so whoever has the vision doesn't need to worry about satisfying weekly numbers while trying to establish an identity. This is how we have shows that ran for 10 seasons like Stargate, which in todays world would have got the axe probably after either 1 season or 2 but now we have about 17 seasons of Stargate shows because they just ran with an idea and didn't have to worry about a guy with his finger on the cancel button. I'll bet you guys can name a hundred shows that would have been canceled in todays TV Land but were a part of your life because someone had a good idea and was left to follow it to the end! So when we get this rare chance to have 2 seasons of a show to start with no matter how it begins, we should be thankful and just watch the show and hope it falls into its own before 2 seasons is up so it gets another few seasons. I think all shows should have 2 seasons to prove themselves and if they aren't watched then at least they had a chance to shine and tell their story.So in the name of Sliders, i'm glad Black Sails got 2 seasons to start and I hope they hit a Home Run!

  • gem-in-eye Jul 29, 2013

    They did it with Spartacus to success. And if they're starting to film season 2 in November and the first season starts in January, they won't get all ten episodes filmed and can just add the one to three episodes of season two they've filmed to the end of season one if the show looks like a lost cause. Its smart all the way around.

  • sheikyerbouti1 Jul 27, 2013

    its brilliant to have faith in a product. at least the fans will/could get two seasons.

  • WavSlave Jul 27, 2013

    Michael Bay is tangentially involved with this? Well, say no more! [cue sounds of me permanently erasing this show from my brain] The mere mention of his name is more than enough to keep me as far away from a project as I can possibly get.

  • current Jul 27, 2013

    Starz no doubt paid out so much for this early on and thought, shi'it better use this stuff again quick smart. I do hope this is better than the usual costumes and tit fest but not much more. I know The Pogues are hoping for Rum, sodomy, and the lash, at the least though.

  • Writerpatrick Jul 27, 2013

    It's not as surprising as it sounds when you consider that season 1 is only 8 episodes. On a regular broadcast network they would be adding additional episodes. In comparison, it's like a full season order.

  • Sw33tEscape Jul 27, 2013

    That's still quick, a network ordering more episodes to a show that hasn't even aired yet (chances are those episodes would air after a break or something).

  • sleepy-sonic Jul 27, 2013

    Another prequel story.These days everything is either a sequel or a prequel.

  • dhaworth Jul 27, 2013

    Don't Networks tend to order 13 initial episodes of a new series? So, we're talking a 5 episode difference over 2 years. I'm guessing that production costs mean that getting at least 18 episodes out of a show makes sense.
    The hard thing for a Starz show is to make it to Season 3!

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