Chances are you didn’t see “I’m Dying Up Here” during its summer run on Showtime. That’s not a knock on the show, just an acknowledgment of the fact that its audience, by just about any measure, was a small one.
Nonetheless, Showtime has picked up a second season of the series to air in 2018. Production on the 10-episode Season 2 is set to begin in the fall.
The series, set in the L.A. stand-up comedy scene of the 1970s, stars Melissa Leo, Al Madrigal, Ari Graynor, Michael Angarano, Clark Duke, Andrew Santino, Erik Griffin, RJ Cyler and Jake Lacy. Dave Flebotte (“Masters of Sex,” “Desperate Housewives”) created the show, and Jim Carrey is an executive producer.
“It is gratifying that so many comedians tell us this series really nailed the comedy club experience,” Gary Levine, president of programming for Showtime, says in a statement. “The talented ensemble of ‘I’m Dying Up Here,’ by the brilliant Melissa Leo, and an equally skilled creative team behind the scenes, tell stories that scale the heights of comedy and the depths of drama, often at the same time. Having heard their plans for Season 2, I’m excited about the journeys these characters will take and the new ground the show will break.”
“I’m Dying Up Here” drew a very modest audience for Showtime, averaging just 143,000 viewers for initial airings. That number grew to 233,000 (an increase of 63 percent) with three days of DVR viewing; multiplatform viewing brings the total to about 1 million viewers per episode, Showtime says.
The show also picked up a little bit of steam in its later episodes, recording two of its three biggest audiences of the season in the last two hours.
Still, its audience is a fraction of the size of other Showtime series like “Shameless” (1.42 million same-day viewers last season), “Homeland” (1.28 million) or “Billions” (880,000). Even the one-and-done “Roadies” averaged 307,000 viewers in the summer of 2016.