USA Network has opted not to order a fourth season of thriller drama series Shooter starring Ryan Phillippe. The decision comes as Shooter has crossed the midpoint mark of its 13-episode Season 3 run. I hear leading producer Paramount Television is shopping the series to other networks. Sibling Paramount Network, recently relaunched as Viacom’s leading brand for original scripted series, is a logical destination and I hear that there have been conversations but they appear to have stalled.
Following USA’s recent cancellation of Colony, also after three seasons, Shooter is USA’s lowest-rated remaining drama series among adults 18-49. Season to date, Shooter averages 471, 000 in 18-49 and 1.506 million total viewers in Live+3, down double-digits from Season 2 averages.
Shooter, whose 2016 debut was delayed because of a series of real-life mass shootings to after the November Presidential election, was a breakout hit. Despite lukewarm reviews, it was embraced by viewers — a large part of them in the heartland — instantly becoming one of USA Network’s highest rated series.
Shooter follows the journey of Bob Lee Swagger (Phillippe), a highly decorated veteran who is coaxed back into action to prevent a plot to kill the President. When Swagger’s former commanding officer, Isaac Johnson (Omar Epps), solicits his expertise for a clandestine operation, Swagger discovers that he has been framed and must do everything in his power to protect his family and clear his name.
Based on the best-selling novelPoint of Impact by Stephen Hunter and the 2007 Paramount film, Shooter comes from executive producers Mark Wahlberg of Closest to the Hole Productions, Stephen Levinson of Leverage Entertainment, Lorenzo di Bonaventura and executive producer/showrunner John Hlavin. Co-starring alongside Phillippe and Epps are Shantel VanSanten, Cynthia Addai-Robinson and Eddie McClintock.
Season 3 consists of 13 episodes, up from the 10-episode Season 1 and 2 orders. Shooter ended up airing an eight-episode second season after Phillippe broke his leg last summer while Shooter was in the midst of filming the ninth episode of its 10-episode second season. At the time, USA, along with the series producing companies Paramount TV and Universal Cable Prods., made a decision to only air the completed episodes, with Episode 8 serving as a Season 2 finale.
Season 3 of Shooter is based loosely on Black Light, the second book in the Bob Lee Swagger series. As Bob Lee struggles to put an end to the events of season two, a nemesis reveals mysterious details surrounding his father Earl’s death, leading Bob Lee towards a startling conspiracy that hits close to home.