One of the lowest-rated shows to air on the Big 4 broadcast networks last season just got a second-season renewal.

CBS announced Tuesday that it’s picked up “Ransom” for a second run in 2018. Season 2 will run for 13 episodes, just as the first installment did.

The question is, how? As in, how did a show that managed just a 0.4 rating in adults 18-49 the night it aired — and a not-much-better 0.6 after a week of delayed viewing — manage to make it to a second season? (We reported its cancellation back in May; that was evidently premature.)

The answer lies in the way the show is produced. “Ransom” is produced by Canadian company Entertainment One and filmed in Hungary. CBS pays a license fee to air the show, but it’s considerably lower than those of series that come through more traditional pipelines.

The fact that it’s so cheap means CBS can tolerate lower ratings than it normally would — even something as low as “Ransom” delivered, apparently. Thus a show that scored the same ratings on Saturdays as the network’s “Crimetime Saturday” rerun block will be back sometime in the next year.

“Ransom” stars Luke Roberts as a hostage negotiator whose team traverses the globe on behalf of his clients. The series also features Sarah Greene, Brandon Jay McLaren and Nazneen Contractor.  David Vainola (“Combat Hospital”) and Frank Spotnitz (“The X-Files,” “The Man in the High Castle”) created it.

There’s no word yet on a return date for the show, although production hasn’t begun yet. That likely means it won’t be ready to air until spring or summer.

Posted by:Rick Porter

Rick Porter has been covering TV since the days when networks sent screeners on VHS, one of which was a teaser for the first season of "American Idol." He's left-handed, makes a very solid grilled cheese and has been editor of TV by the Numbers since October 2015. He lives in Austin.

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