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HBO Renews Tell Me You Love Me

HBO renewed sex-laden original series Tell Me You Love Mefor a second season, the network confirmed.

The network declined to provide details on when it would begin shooting the new episodes or when they would premiere.

While the relationship drama debuted with just 910,000 total viewers early in September -- dismal compared with almost all of the pay cable network's originals in recent years -- it has maintained the interest of TV critics, at least, and built bigger audiences over multiple plays. The premiere episode, for example, drew a total of 3.1 million viewers over seven plays, HBO said.

To bolster awareness around the show, HBO later in September launched a multimedia marketing campaign featuring real-life couples talking about the show and their own drama. Segments have been running on the network after each episode, as well as online, on iTunes and on video-on-demand.

HBO is picking up Tell Me after it declined to do so with its last original series, John from Cincinnati. The latter's least-watched episode of the season actually drew more viewers than Tell Me's premiere, but the network saw little hope in the oddball surf-noir show ever really catching on with viewers.

Tell Me's premiere numbers are also so small compared with those of other HBO series, like John and Big Love,in part because it didn't have the benefit of a Sopranoslead-in as the others did.