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HBO renews supernatural drama 'The Leftovers' for second season

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - HBO's supernatural drama "The Leftovers" has been renewed for a second season, the U.S. premium cable network said on Wednesday, setting up the series to be a future anchor of HBO's summer season.

"The Leftovers," which stars Justin Theroux and Amy Brenneman, focuses on individuals in a small New York town in the years after a global "rapture" that caused 140 million people disappear around the world.

The show is expected to become the Time Warner Inc-owned network's top summer series after vampire drama "True Blood" concludes following its seventh season in September.

"The Leftovers" has averaged about 1.6 million live viewers over its first seven episodes. The 10-episode season is set to finish on Sept. 7.

The show has also earned critical praise, in particular for its treatment of human grief.

"The Leftovers" is based on the 2011 novel of the same name by screenwriter and author Tom Perrotta.

(Reporting by Eric Kelsey; Editing by Steve Orlofsky; editing by Patricia Reaney)