VICE was originally given eight (8) installments in its freshman season on HBO, however that has since been bumped up to ten (10). The additional episod
es may be due to the healthy numbers for the show but I’m not quite sure if that is the case. It could be that they wanted to generate a bit of publicity for the season finale since the closing story is a piece that has already made the news. HBO has stated that viewership for the second edition of VICE, which debuted Friday, 04.12, improved 78% over its premiere, attracting 931,000 viewers and based on preliminary data, the series has already achieved an average per episode gross audience of two million viewers.
Surely they hope to build on those numbers culminating with the tenth episode on Friday, 06.14 at 11:00pm ET. The finale will devote the whole half-hour to the team’s recent trip to North Korea and its attempt at “basketball diplomacy.” Remember that VICE founder and series host Shane Smith had previously reported from within North Korea on two occasions, but was barred from returning to the country due to his critical documentaries on the regime. Determined to return and chronicle the reclusive and highly secretive country under its new leader, Kim Jong-un, Smith sent a team of correspondents and a production crew, including VICE correspondent Ryan Duffy, NBA Hall of Famer and Chicago Bulls great Dennis Rodman, and three players from the Harlem Globetrotters, on a cultural exchange to the basketball-crazed country in late February. The VICE correspondent Duffy with his crew spent seven days in North Korea, traveling the country and filming. It should make for a stirring finale not to be missed.
HBOWatch will be posting weekly about each installment of VICE which now will air through 06.14. Hopefully, this show will leave enough of an impact and see high enough viewership to warrant a second season and beyond. So, get a good punch in the face by VICE and return back here for thoughts and comments well into June. You’ll be glad you did.