History announced this week that the network has ordered a 20 episode sixth season of the hit drama series “Vikings”. The confirmation came from Eli Lehrer, Executive Vice President of Programming, History. As an extra surprise, the network also announced that series regular Katheryn Winnick will direct one episode in season six, marking her directorial debut. Production for season six is slated to begin this fall in Ireland.
The previously ordered 20 episode fifth season will air in two parts, beginning with a two-hour premiere on Wednesday, November 29 at 9PM ET/PT followed by eight episodes airing every Wednesday at 9PM ET/PT. The remaining ten episodes of season five are slated to air in 2018.
Across all platforms, the last season of “Vikings” averaged 7.8 million viewers per episode. “Vikings” is a top five drama across ad supported cable and averaged 4.1 million total viewers last season in Live+7 delivery. Additionally, the series reached 34.3 million total viewers in linear Live+7.
“‘Vikings’ has creatively sailed to monumental lengths. The series has evolved from early raids in England, to the heart-stopping death of Ragnar Lothbrok, to the fierce battles of the Great Heathen Army, and now we’ll see the sons of Ragnar exploring and conquering the known world,” said Lehrer. “Michael Hirst has only scratched the surface of his epic saga. We look forward to continuing our partnership with one of the greatest writers in this era of Peak TV and entertaining our viewers with 40 new episodes over the next two seasons.”
“It has been my pleasure and my privilege to work with HISTORY and our partner MGM over five seasons and 69 episodes of ‘Vikings.’ Now we are ready to begin production of a 20 episode season six that will deliver a huge and unexpected revelation to our audience,” said Michael Hirst, creator and executive producer. “There are many reasons why I love this show, not least for the commitment and creativity of everyone involved in making it, but perhaps even more important is the spirit that drives this production – one of the happiest, most collaborative and most authentic productions I have ever been involved with. And so we sail on.”
The show comes from creator and sole writer Michael Hirst (Academy Award winning film Elizabeth and the Emmy and Golden Globe nominated series “The Tudors”) and is a family saga that tells the remarkable tales of the lives and epic adventures of the raiders and explorers of the Dark Ages. Season five cast includes series regulars Jonathan Rhys Meyers (“The Tudors”), who joined this season, as “Bishop Heahmund” along with Katheryn Winnick (“Lagertha”), Gustaf Skarsgård (“Floki”), Alexander Ludwig (“Bjorn”), Alex Høgh Andersen (“Ivar the Boneless”), Jordan Smith (“Ubbe”) and Marco Ilso (“Hvitserk”).
Winnick’s role as Lagertha has garnered her a “Best Supporting Actress” nomination at the 2015 Critic’s Choice Television Awards and a “Best Performance by a Lead Dramatic Actress” nomination at the 2014 Canadian Screen Awards. Winnick most recently appeared in the adaptation of Stephen King’s The Dark Tower opposite Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey. Next up she will star opposite John Travolta in the upcoming film Cigarette. Her other credits include Love & Other Drugs and 50 First Dates. Winnick is repped by CAA, Alchemy Entertainment, and attorney Jeff Bernstein of Jackoway, Tyerman, Wertheimer, Austen, Mandelbaum, Morris, & Klein.
Hirst serves as executive producer along with Morgan O’Sullivan of World 2000 (The Count of Monte Cristo; “The Tudors”), Sheila Hockin (“The Tudors,” “The Borgias”), John Weber of Take 5 Productions (“The Tudors,” “The Borgias”), Sherry Marsh, Alan Gasmer, and James Flynn (“The Tudors,” “The Borgias”). Arturo Interian serves as the executive in charge of production for HISTORY.