HBO has renewed the comedy series Eastbound & Down for a second season, it was announced by Michael Lombardo, president, Programming Group and West Coast Operations, HBO. Production on the new episodes will begin later this year, with debut slated for 2010.

Starring Danny McBride (“Tropic Thunder,” “Pineapple Express”), Eastbound & Down tells the story of Kenny Powers, who used to be a star pitcher until his self-destructive behavior knocked him out of Major League Baseball. In the first season of the series, he returned home to North Carolina to teach Phys Ed at the middle school he once attended, and eventually scored another big-league job offer.

Eastbound and Down‘s raucous comedy sparked a loyal and enthusiastic following that grew throughout the season, and we’re happy to bring the show back for more innings,” noted Lombardo. “It will be fun to see what happens to Kenny in season two.”

The six-episode first season of Eastbound & Down, which concluded in March, inspired critical praise, as well as devoted viewers. Entertainment Weekly described the show as “a winner about a real loser,” while the New Yorker observed, “Kenny Powers will live on in our minds after he’s left the screen.” The Hollywood Reporter hailed Eastbound & Down as “sublimely hilarious,” and the Washington Post called it “the most recklessly funny comedy of the year.”

The executive producers of Eastbound & Down are Will Ferrell, Adam McKay, Chris Henchy, Jody Hill, Danny McBride and Ben Best.