The cast of MTV’s “Siesta Key” reality show at the Kompothecras mansion on Siesta Key. [Herald-Tribune staff photo / Dan Wagner]
“Siesta Key,” the Sarasota County set and filmed MTV reality series, will soon get more national screen time.

The network ordered eight more episodes of the show in addition to the initial ten, according to Deadline. Production is currently underway and the new episodes are scheduled to air in winter 2018.

The hour-long series follows Alex Kompothecras and his group of friends, all primarily in their early 20s, as they navigate romance, friendship and adulthood in Siesta Key and surrounding Sarasota County. Kompothecras is the son of 1-800-ASK-GARY founder Gary Kompothecras, who also executive produces the show.

Gary told the Herald-Tribune in an interview before the series debuted that he got the idea for the show watching Alex and his friends. He paid for a production company to film a pilot and pitched it to various networks, with MTV ultimately picking it up.

“I go, ‘You guys are really having a hell of a lifestyle,‘” Gary said. “I said this would be a good reality show. Plus they’re good kids, so that was the main thing, they weren’t bad kids. I said this would be a good story because when I was growing up, you had ‘Father Knows Best,’ you had ‘My Three Sons,’ you had people with values and I didn’t see that in the TV of late.”

The show drew criticism from residents who believed it would be similar in tone to MTV reality show “Jersey Shore.” It was the subject of national controversy when Alex was revealed to be friends with the person accused of dragging a shark behind his boat on video, as well as allegedly posting a since-deleted video of a hammerhead shark being shot by a gun on his Instagram account.

After a solid start and brief dip in ratings, “Siesta Key” became more stable in the second half of its season and is the top performing new series since summer 2014, according to Deadline. The network told Reuters that it attributed its first summer with ratings growth in six years in part due to the show.

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