Showtime Renews “The Big C” & “Weeds”

Showtime has ordered new seasons of its dark comedy hits, The Big C and Weeds.

Viewers will be treated to the premieres of Season 2 of The Big C and the seventh season of Weeds early next year, Showtime announced on Monday. The network cited “record-breaking premiere night ratings for both original series” as the reason behind the early renewals.

“The unprecedented viewership for both The Big C and Weeds proves that audiences love these shows as much as we do,” Showtime President of Entertainment David Nevins said in a statement Monday.

“There are definitely more comedic adventures in store for these fascinating, complex women. For six seasons, we’ve happily traveled along with Nancy Botwin and we’re equally as excited to follow Laura Linney and The Big C team as they chart Cathy’s unique journey through such a provocative and personal subject as cancer. We’re thrilled that these two signature shows will be returning to the network in 2011.”

The season premiere of The Big C, starring Laura Linney as a high school teacher battling cancer and Sidibe as one of her students, drew 1.2 million viewers on Aug. 16, the largest audience in eight years for an original series premiere on the network. Mary Louise Parker’s suburban pot saga Weeds lit up its sixth season the same night with 1.26 million viewers, up 4% from the show’s Season 5 debut.