Shooter Cancelled by USA, Eyes Paramount Network Rescue

USA Network cancels the Ryan Phillippe-starring action series, Shooter, but a rescue could be in the works.

Shooter has been cancelled by the USA Network after three seasons, though its prospects remain up in the air, since discussions with Paramount Network could bear the fruit of a rescue.

The cancellation of Shooter occurs shortly after the network axed another one of its once-ubiquitously-hyped and uber-expensive shows, Colony, after it similarly banked three seasons on the air. (Has USA set its benchmark for on-the-fence shows?) Moreover, just as with Colony, the ratings for Shooter – never overwhelmingly impressive – have started to slip overall in the June-launched, Thursday-slotted Season 3, which is averaging (eight episodes in,) 738,000 viewers, compared to Season 2’s 1.249 million and Season 1’s 1.449 million. 

Pertinently, the cancellations free up USA Network’s schedule after it recently ordered a slate of new high-profile shows, the most prominent of which is Treadstone, a television spinoff of the Bourne movies; an action/suspense/espionage offering that might be too similar thematically to Shooter, possibly serving as another incentive for the cancellation.

However, Shooter, a series from Universal Cable Productions and Paramount Television, might end up getting a reprieve from the latter company, since discussions are apparently underway with the newly-rebranded Paramount Network (formerly Spike TV,) to give the show a pick-up for a prospective Season 4. Indeed, Paramount Network, which touts a burgeoning scripted lineup centered around the recently-launched, already-renewed Kevin Costner-starring drama, Yellowstone, has plenty of vacancies for a series of Shooter‘s caliber (no pun intended), which brandishes a prominent cast and, for what it’s worth, does have an established following.

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Shooter adapts the novel series of author Stephen Hunter, which was famously adapted by director Antoine Fuqua’s 2007 Mark Wahlberg-starring movie of the same name. The USA series, which launched in November 2016, stars Ryan Phillippe as Bob Lee Swagger (the character Wahlberg played), a military sharpshooter perpetually coaxed out of retirement. He’s joined by former House co-star Omar Epps and a pair of alumni from The CW’s Arrowverse shows in Shantel VanSanten and Cynthia Addai-Robinson.

The series was developed by writer/executive producer John Hlavin (Blood Drive), joined by fellow EPs in movie star Mark Wahlberg via his Closest to the Hole Productions and Leverage Entertainment’s Stephen Levinson, as well as Lorenzo di Bonaventura. Star Ryan Phillippe is also a credited producer.

We will keep you updated on the developments of the Shooter series cancellation/rescue situation.

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