This news comes not long after BBC America renewed its own post-Civil War cop show "Copper" for a second season. History's hit miniseries "Hatfields & McCoys" was also set around this time, making the 1860s the new era of choice for period dramas -- look out, "Mad Men."
"Hell on Wheels" also stars Common as freed slave Elam Ferguson, Dominique McElligott as the widowed Lily Bell and Colm Meaney as Union Pacific Railroad promoted Doc Durant. The series averaged 2.4 million viewers this season -- in contrast, the much-hyped fifth season of "Mad Men" had an average of 2.6 million viewers, as did the first half of the fifth season of "Breaking Bad."
Update: According to Deadline, series creators Joe and Tony Gayton will be stepping down as executive producers for the third season and will no longer keep up day-to-day involvement, though they may consult. The Gaytons recently sold a drama about a recent college grad who ends up serving as a courier for a criminal organization to NBC. John Shiban will continue as the showrunner for "Hell on Wheels."