MYRTLE BEACH — Get ready for another season of “Welcome to Myrtle Manor.”
The docu-drama, filmed in Patrick’s Mobile Home Park off Highway 15 in Myrtle Beach, has been picked up for a second season that will air in 2014, TLC announced Friday, just two days before the finale of the first season.
The network picked up the show for another 10 episodes, each lasting an hour, said TLC spokeswoman Shannon Martin. Martin declined to comment further about the show and TLC’s decision to order more episodes.
It’s unclear when filming will start, whether all the stars will return and when in 2014 the show will air.
The news comes less than a week after three of the stars on the show were arrested in Myrtle Beach within three days, two for DUI and one for criminal sexual conduct with a minor under age 16.
The show’s stars have been waiting for word of the fate of the show for weeks. When the call came Friday, Cecil Patrick, the park’s owner and a character on the show, was ecstatic.
“I’m so excited, I can’t stand it,” he said. “It is going to be as good as, or better than the first season.”
The show, which is filmed in and based in Myrtle Beach, premiered March 3 to mixed reactions from residents and officials. Even before that first episode, some were concerned about how the show would portray Myrtle Beach to a national audience and how that might affect its tourism industry, while others brushed it off as another reality TV show that viewers might enjoy, but not take seriously.
Since its debut March 3, folks seem to either love it or hate it. The nine episodes have averaged 1.1 million viewers each week, according to Nielsen ratings.
The show chronicles the hi-jinks in the family-owned mobile home park, including drinking, relationship drama and spats over how the park is being run. It’s featured footage shot not only at the park, but at attractions and businesses around town such as the SkyWheel and the Myrtle Beach boardwalk.
Several stars have made headlines of their own in the past week. Amanda Adams, 26, was arrested April 26 after crashing her Jeep into a utility pole on U.S. 501 near Broadway Street, and a breathalyzer found she had a blood alcohol content of 0.20; the legal limit in South Carolina is 0.08.
Lindsay Colbert, 21, was arrested April 28 after police said she was speeding on U.S. 501 near Waccamaw Boulevard and reported finding an open bottle of rum in her car. Colbert was evicted from “Myrtle Manor” and has not appeared in an episode since March 24. A breathalyzer administered at the jail showed Colbert had a blood alcohol content of 0.15, police said.
And Taylor J. Burt, 28, was charged April 27 with criminal sexual conduct with a minor under age 16. According to police, a 15-year-old girl and her mother told police April 26 that the girl had sexual relations with Burt.
Critics of Myrtle Manor were crossing their fingers that Sunday would be the end of the show.
Brad Dean, president and CEO of the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce, said before news of the second season that he’s seen the show build a small following “by portraying an experience that is much different than what our residents and tourists typically enjoy.”
He said he doesn’t see Myrtle Manor benefitting local tourism or real estate.
“I suspect that most businesses and residents hope the final episode signifies the end of their 15 minutes of fame,” Dean said earlier this week before news of the second season.
Others can’t get enough. Between 300 and 600 fans visit Patrick’s Mobile Home Park a day – where Myrtle Manor is set up at the back of the park – to shoot pictures with the signature Myrtle Manor sign or some of the show’s stars or buy T-shirts and other merchandise from a souvenir shop set up in the park a few weeks ago.
Patrick says some residents who were skeptical of the show at first have come around, and the second season sends a message to the naysayers.
So what’s in store for the second season?
“You have to tune it to see,” Patrick said.
Staff reporter Maya T. Prabhu contributed to this report.
Contact DAWN BRYANT at 626-0296 or at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her at Twitter.com/TSN_dawnbryant.