Filmmaker Steven Soderbergh's new historical medical drama The Knick has been picked up for a second season, a month before the first series premieres on U.S. Tv.

The Knick, starring British actor Clive Owen, is based in 1900s New York and focuses on groundbreaking surgeons and staff at Knickerbocker Hospital during a period of high mortality rates and a lack of antibiotics.

The programme is due to debut on America's Cinemax channel on 8 August (14), but cable network bosses are so confident it will be a hit, they have decided to give Soderbergh the green light to make another 10 episodes.

Soderbergh reveals he plans to stay on as the series producer and director, putting off his previous plans to retire.

Speaking at a press conference on Thursday (10Jul14), he said, "I did not think I would be sitting here talking about 10 hours of material that was behind us and 10 hours in front of us.

"I've moved in any direction that I've felt would excite me and engage me. It's unfortunate that people have to explain why I went to work, but I'm glad I did."

The moviemaker declared in 2012 he wanted to turn his back on Hollywood and become an artist.