USA Network has opted not to order a second season of crime thriller anthology Eyewitness. The series, from Shades of Blue creator Adi Hasak and adapted from the Norwegian drama Øyevitne, was an experiment for USA. It was done under a different business model: given a 10-episode straight-to-series order at a reduced budget. The serialized murder story was designed as a companion to USA’s venerable off-network crime drama procedural Law & Order: SVU on Sunday.
Despite solid reviews and a strong performance by Julianne Nicholson, the series, which got very little promotion, did not hold as much of the SVU audience as the network had hoped. Eyewitness, believed to be the first crime drama with LGBT leads, ranks as the second-lowest-rated original series on USA, a tad ahead of fellow freshman Falling Water. There is no decision yet on the latter, also a bubble show, with a pending deal at Amazon boosting its renewal changes.
In Season 1, Eyewitness followed two small-town teenage boys who, while hooking up in a cabin, witness a murder. Catherine Hardwicke directed the first two hours of the series, produced by Universal Cable Prods.
Eyewitness, in the popular Nordic noir genre, had been envisioned as an anthology, with each season focusing on an eyewitness of a different crime. Hasak wrote it and served as executive producer/showrunner. The original series’ creator, Jarl Emsell Larsen, also executive produced.
Along with Eyewitness and Falling Water, USA also premiered drama Shooter last fall. It has been renewed for a second season.