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This year saw Amazon release the first season of “The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power,” its massive multi-year $1 billion gamble to pull in viewers with a lavish adaptation of one of the least explored periods of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle Earth fantasy saga.

There was a lot of pressure riding on the team that developed the series, and on Amazon for taking such a massive gamble. If that first season flopped, would the streamer cut back on its plans and would the whole endeavour be seen as a waste?

The results were interesting – the critical reaction was quite positive, the audience a bit more divided, and the viewership very good – becoming one of the most-watched original series Prime Video has produced.

In a new interview with Deadline, Amazon Studios’ Head of Global TV Vernon Sanders has confirmed that as far as Amazon is concerned, the show has been an unqualified success story for them – so much so that not only is the second season in the midst of production but talks about the third season have begun:

“Its been a tremendous success for us, it performed incredibly well around the globe. It is by far our biggest scripted series, it is the most acquisitive show that we’ve put out.

After we finished releasing episodes, we saw a new surge of people come to the service to start the show. We’ve already released the fact that we’re over 100 million, and the number has gone up since then, it’s millions and millions beyond that.

We are really proud that the show drove renewed interest in the books, we saw spikes in book sales. It’s just been a company-wide success and as significant as our investment has been, it has more than paid off for us.”

Though a third-season renewal order hasn’t been handed out yet, Sanders suggests it’s a matter of time, with a likely announcement to come in the new year. More importantly, Amazon seems to be fully committed to its five-season plan:

“We are absolutely committed. We have every reason to be excited. They’ve done a tremendous job. It’s a great question about Season 3, we’re probably two to three months in on Season 3, but I think there could be news certainly in the new year.

There’s so much planning and prep that’s necessary for us to get this mounted that the only reason we probably haven’t gotten there quite yet is we’ve just been so heads down in Season 2, but I would expect there to be news in the new year.”

Where ‘Rings’ faced a challenge was with that five-season plan in place, even the show’s supporters tended to agree with the criticism that the series was too slow moving with not a lot occurring on the show until its first season’s back half. Not helping is that HBO’s “House of the Dragon” premiered opposite to a lot more online chatter and consistently better reviews.

Whether the same face-off will happen again next time, it’s a wait-and-see for now. The first season of “The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power” is now available on Prime Video.

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