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‘Vikings’, currently airing on Monday nights on RTÉ2, proves an enduring success worldwide
21 Mar 2016 : Seán Brosnan
‘Vikings’ is currently airing on Monday nights on RTÉ2
The fourth season of Irish co-produced series ‘Vikings’ is proving a hit with both audiences and critics alike with History renewing the period drama for another 20 episode season, due to premiere in 2017.

The series, which will air the second episode of its’ fourth season tonight (RTÉ2 at 9pm), is also currently airing on Thursday nights on History in the US.

Critical praise has been heaped on the show with Variety recently writing of the fourth season: “What Hirst and company have accomplished in terms of creating an appointment series on a channel with at best a modest scripted portfolio is no small feat. And in TV, as in the bloody eighth century, to the victor go the spoils.”

Audiences in the US have taken to the series too. ‘Vikings’ has remained a top ten cable drama series since premiering in 2013. It is now the number one telecast on Thursday nights on cable in all key demographics within Live +3 delivery garnering 4.2 million total viewers, 2.1 million Adults 25-54 and 1.9 million Adults 18-49.

Speaking about the success of the show, Irish Executive Producer Morgan O'Sullivan of World 2000 Entertainment said: "I am thrilled that ‘Vikings’ is once again a success in the United States and across the world. A big thank you to the History Channel and MGM for their huge support and congratulations to the many hundreds of people in Ireland and Canada who work tirelessly on the show to make it a success."

The first four series of the show, shot in Co. Wicklow with production in Luggala and Ashford Studios, were a massive undertaking and provided a huge boost to the Irish industry, with approximately 400 Irish people involved in the production of the series.

As the recent IFTA nominations have shown, the show has also dipped heavily into the Irish talent pool both in front of and behind the camera throughout the show’s run. Aside from being up for Best Drama Series, the show also received nominations for Moe Dunford (Best Supporting Actor), PJ Dillon (Best Cinematography), Joan Bergin (Best Costume Design) and Tom McInerney and Dee Corcoran (Make-Up and Hair), with the latter two winning an IFTA last year for their work on the show. ‘Vikings’ has also recently cast Cork actor Jonathan Rhys Meyers in a large yet unspecified role for the fifth series, which is expected to shoot in the summer. Other key Irish personnel to have worked on the series in the past include director Ciaran Donnelly and Production Designers Tom Conroy and Mark Geraghty.

Speaking about why the series has been renewed for a fifth season, Mark Burnett, President, Television and Digital Group, MGM said: ‘Vikings’ continues to be a powerhouse series worldwide, bolstered by the ongoing support from History and the direction of our first-class creative team, led by Michael Hirst, and partners World 2000 (Morgan O’Sullivan) and Take 5 Productions.”

From creator and sole writer Michael Hirst, ‘Vikings’ is inspired by the sagas of Icelandic Viking Ragnar Lothbrok, one of the best-known legendary Norse heroes and notorious as the scourge of England and France.

Hirst serves as executive producer along with Morgan O’Sullivan of World 2000, Sheila Hockin, John Weber of Take 5 Productions, Sherry Marsh, Alan Gasmer and James Flynn.

‘Vikings’ is currently airing its’ fourth season on RTÉ2 on Monday nights at 9pm. Check out the trailer below:

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