Bill Paxton’s untimely death at age 61 came four episodes into the run of what will be his final series, CBS’ Training Day.
Production on the midseason drama, a reboot of Antoine Fuqua’s acclaimed movie, wrapped in December, so all 13 episodes from the show’s first-season order have already been filmed. That gives fans nine new episodes with the Twister actor. The next is slated to air next Thursday.
Training Day, produced by Fuqua, Jerry Bruckheimer and Warner Bros. Television, begins 15 years after the events in the feature, and centers on an idealistic young police officer (Justin Cornwell) who is appointed to an elite squad of the LAPD where he is partnered with a seasoned, morally ambiguous detective (Paxton). CBS and WBTV released a joined statement on Paxton’s passing:
We are shocked and deeply saddened this morning by the news of Bill Paxton’s passing. Bill was, of course, a gifted and popular actor with so many memorable roles on film and television. His colleagues at CBS and Warner Bros. Television will also remember a guy who lit up every room with infectious charm, energy and warmth, and as a great storyteller who loved to share entertaining anecdotes and stories about his work. All of us here offer our deepest sympathy to his wife, Louise, and his two children.
Training Day has been a very modest ratings performer and was not expected to be in serious contention for a renewal — in opened with 4.7 million viewers and a 0.9 among adults 18-49 in Live+same day ratings and by Episode 4, it slipped to 3.7 million and a 0.7, with small DVR bumps.
Paxton’s death makes the already unlikely renewal virtually impossible. But the show gives fans a chance to appreciate the actor’s craft one more time.
Training Day executive producers Jerry Bruckheimer and Antoine Fuqua and co-star Julie Benz also have reacted to Paxton’s death:
Bill was someone whose goodness and compassion was evident from the moment you met him. He was an immense talent and the type of guy you wanted to spend as much time with both in front of, and behind, the camera. My heartfelt condolences to his family.
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