The new "Tulsa King" will continue to reign for another season.
"After smashing records at Paramount+ ... 'Tulsa King' has scored a Season 2 pickup. Hosting this incredible series at Prairie Surf Studios was an incredible honor," Rachel Cannon, founder and Co-CEO of Prairie Surf Media, which operates downtown Oklahoma City's Prairie Surf Studios, told The Oklahoman.
"Discussions about the filming location for Season 2 are still ongoing, but the show’s success is undoubtedly a sign of the bright future for the burgeoning film and television industry in Oklahoma."
With its first season filmed primarily in the Sooner State, the starry freshman series created by "Yellowstone" mastermind Taylor Sheridan and starring three-time Oscar nominee Sylvester Stallone earned this week a quick renewal for its sophomore season.
'Tulsa King' beats 'Game of Thrones' prequel with its cable premiere
The hotly anticipated crime drama — Stallone's first lead role in a television series and first collaboration with Sheridan — premiered its first two episodes Nov. 13 exclusively on the Paramount+ streaming service, where subsequent Season 1 episodes continue to debut weekly on Sundays.
The Paramount Network cable channel then aired "Tulsa King's" first two episodes on Nov. 20 following a new installment of Sheridan's smash series "Yellowstone."
The strategy paid off for the gangster saga, produced by MTV Entertainment Studios and 101 Studios.
"'Tulsa King' scored as the No. 1 new series of the year, topping all others including the 'Game of Thrones' prequel 'House of the Dragon,' with its preview on Paramount Network, and on Paramount+, it shattered records, driving us to our biggest new sign-up day in history – which is why we instantly greenlit Season 2,” said Chris McCarthy, president and CEO of Paramount Media Networks and MTV Entertainment Studios, in a statement.
“'Tulsa King' together with 'Mayor of Kingstown,' '1883' and the upcoming '1923,' undeniably confirm the success of our strategy to franchise 'Yellowstone' and use it to supercharge streaming growth — none of which would be possible without the creative mastermind of Taylor Sheridan."
Just days after "Tulsa King's" Nov. 13 debut, Tanya Giles, chief programming officer for Paramount Streaming, announced that Paramount+ had achieved the most subscriber sign-ups in a single day since last year's relaunch of the streamer. She attributed the success to "Tulsa King" and continued year-over-year growth of the "NFL on CBS," with local market games streaming on the service.
"With the combination of the incomparable Sylvester Stallone and Taylor Sheridan's darkly comedic twist on the beloved mobster genre, we have found our latest hit in 'Tulsa King,'" Giles said in a statement. "The series' premiere on Paramount+ helped drive a record sign-up day fueled by our unique ability as Paramount Global to tap into Paramount Network's incredible 'Yellowstone' audience."
With its cable debut after "Yellowstone" — Sheridan's record-smashing flagship series is currently generating top viewership numbers across broadcast and cable television — "Tulsa King" was able to rule as the No. 1 new series premiere on cable of 2022, according to a news release.
With 3.7 million total viewers, "Tulsa King's" cable bow not only beat "House of the Dragon" but also bested FX's "The Old Man," starring Jeff Bridges, John Lithgow and Amy Brenneman.
"We could not be more excited about the success of 'Tulsa King,'” said 101 Studios CEO David C. Glasser in a statement. "It's a fun, fresh show that audiences are truly embracing in no small part because of its star, Sylvester Stallone."
'Tulsa King' is believed to be Oklahoma's biggest scripted TV series
Also listed among the executive producers, Stallone stars in "Tulsa King" as Dwight "The General" Manfredi, a 75-year-old New York gangster newly released after serving a 25-year prison sentence. He is quickly banished by his former boss' son to Tulsa, where he sets out to establish a new criminal empire in a strange new land.
Along with creating "Tulsa King," Sheridan serves as an executive producer alongside Terence Winter, an Oscar nominee and Emmy winner whose previous projects include "The Sopranos,” "Boardwalk Empire" and “The Wolf of Wall Street."
"Tulsa King" is not only the largest scripted television series to be produced in Oklahoma using the incentives under the new Filmed in Oklahoma Act of 2021, but the Stallone vehicle also is believed to be the largest scripted TV series ever made in the Sooner State.
Season 1 premiered just 18 months after Gov. Kevin Stitt signed into law the state's new $30 million a year tax incentive for film and television productions.
"We are thrilled to have been a part of the first season of 'Tulsa King' and to have worked with Paramount+ and 101 Studios," Jeanette Stanton, the new director of the Oklahoma Film + Music Office, told The Oklahoman.
"It takes a village to host a production of this scale, and we are grateful to our state and city leadership, film-friendly community partners, local vendors and professionals who played a role."
Filming on Season 1 largely took place in Oklahoma City, Tulsa, Bethany and multiple areas in the surrounding regions over the course of about six months this year, bringing an estimated spend of more than $56 million to the state.
With the show — and Sheridan's — proven track record, "Tulsa King" Season 2 could prove an even bigger boon to the Sooner State, provided the production returns to Oklahoma.
"We have the largest incentive we've ever had as a state. I think we've proven that we can handle the business. ... We've seen 'Killers of the Flower Moon' and 'Tulsa King' and then smaller independents like 'What Rhymes with Reason,'" Stanton told The Oklahoman.
"So, I think it's a message that we're ready, we're poised, and we definitely want more. ... At the end of the day, that's more business for Oklahoma. It's more jobs for Oklahomans. So, there's no need to stop now."
Cannon said she is proud that her company hosted the first big production filmed under the state's new incentive program and is excited for the possibilities should "Tulsa King" return to Oklahoma for Season 2.
"While 'Tulsa King' may have been the first series of this scale to come to Oklahoma, it’s certainly not the last, and that’s exciting for Prairie Surf Media, Oklahoma City and the entire state of Oklahoma," she said.
This article originally appeared on Oklahoman: Renewal of 'Tulsa King' means Oklahoma may see more Sylvester Stallone