USA Network has opted not to order a second season of Complications, its freshman drama starring Jason O’Mara. I hear the options on the cast had recently expired, but the network brass, still on the fence about a pickup, secured a four-day extension while pondering the show’s fate. It came down to the wire but, after lengthy deliberations, the network ultimately decided against a second season.
Complications, which finished its summer run earlier this month, comes from the creator of one of USA’s most successful series, Burn Notice‘s Matt Nix. The network’s relationship with Nix, his track record, and the fact that the series had developed a modest but loyal following worked in Complications‘ favor. But there were business factors — Complications is not owned by USA, it comes from Fox 21 TV Studios — that stood in the way as the network brass deemed another season not economically feasible. Based on similar reasons, as program ownership becomes increasingly important in the streaming era, USA ended Burn Notice and White Collar, both from Fox TV Studios. Of the two new drama series introduced last summer, Satisfaction, from sibling UCP, was renewed; Rush, from Fox 21, was cancelled.
Things don’t look more optimistic for Complications’ Thursday companion, USA drama Graceland, whose numbers this season have been largely below those for Complications (Graceland’s L7’s 18-49 tally may have come in a tad higher than Complications‘). A decision on the Jeff Eastin-created series, also from Fox 21 TV Studios, is expected next week.
USA has the drama pipeline loaded with two upcoming series — Colony, from UCP and Legendary, and Queen of the South, from Fox 21 TV Studios and UCP. The network recently ordered four drama pilots, all from UCP: Shooter, Paradise Pictures, Brooklyn Animal Control and Falling Water. Shooter is a co-production with Paramount TV, Brooklyn with IDW.
Complications starred O’Mara as Dr. John Ellison, a disillusioned physician coping with his daughter’s death who is dragged into the crime world after he intervenes in a drive-by shooting.
Complications, which averaged 2.3 million viewers in Live+7 for the season, was a relatively steady ratings performer, opening with 1.9 million viewers in Live+Same Day and ending its season with 1.4 million for the finale. In Live+3, the finale rose to 1.9 million viewers and 602,000 adults 18-49. While in total viewers that was almost on par with that week’s performance of USA other new summer drama, breakout Mr. Robot (2.2 million in L3), in 18-49, Complications trailed Mr. Robot — already renewed for a second season — 600,000 to 1.2 million. Both rookie series are part of USA’s current push into edgier fare.
In addition to Mr. Robot, its companion, Suits, also has been renewed for next season.
Nix has been busy on the broadcast side, landing put pilot commitments at CBS and Fox in the past couple of weeks.