The Disney-owned cable network (formerly ABC Family) has renewed Shadowhunters, the TV series adaptation of the best-selling book series, for a second season. The news is poised to be announced Monday morning during a Facebook Q&A with the cast.
The series is now poised to outlast the big-screen incarnation and comes after the original The Mortal Instruments opened to lackluster box office returns and plans for the sequel were scrapped.
Shadowhunters launched in January and collected 2.9 million total viewers and 1.6 million among the advertiser-coveted adults 18-49 demographic. The debut ranks as Freeform's second-best series premiere on record among adults under 50 and adults 25-54. Additionally, the drama ranks as Freeform's top launch among men under 50 and men 25-54 — as well as its third best among total viewers.
Shadowhunters is one of several high-profile fantasy dramas that broadcast and cable networks have launched in a bid to appeal to the Game of Thrones base. MTV also has The Shannara Chronicles, based on the best-selling book series, and ABC recently launched Biblical entry Of Kings and Prophets to a lackluster debut. (Shannara, meanwhile, is awaiting word on its fate.)
The decision to renew Shadowhunters comes as Freeform has been rebranded with a focus on what network president Tom Ascheim calls "becomers" — individuals who are experiencing "firsts" like love and jobs in a bid to court older viewers. The cabler recently announced that Switched at Birth would end with its upcoming fifth season and first-year comedy Kevin From Work would not return. Meanwhile, Freeform has a large slate of newcomers including anthology Dead of Summer, Stitchers, Nicki, Guilt and Beyond joining recent launchRecovery Road and stables Baby Daddy, The Fosters and Pretty Little Liars.