EXCLUSIVE: Starz has opted not to renew the J.K. Simmons-starring drama Counterpart for a third season. The February 17 Season 2 finale of the sci-fi espionage thriller, from creator/executive producer Justin Marks and executive producer Jordan Horowitz, will be its series finale on Starz. Counterpart producer MRC is currently shopping the show to streaming platforms.
“Justin, Jordan, J.K. and the entire cast and crew delivered a beautifully executed series,” Carmi Zlotnik, president of programming at Starz, said in a statement to Deadline. “It was a pleasure working with this team on two seasons of expert storytelling brought to life by best-in-class performances across the board.”
I hear Starz made its decision not to proceed with the series beyond its original two-season order in early January. The cast extended their options until February 1 to give MRC, which is said to believe strongly in the show, time to find a new home. The actors’ options have now expired, and they are free to get new series jobs, though I hear MRC is still pitching the series to potential buyers in the streaming space.
Marks just confirmed the series’ status on Twitter.
“Hey #counterpart fans, a bit of sad news… Starz has decided not to pick up our show for a 3rd season. It’s been an absolute dream for this team… we got to make EXACTLY the show we wanted to… perfect cast, perfect crew on 2 continents… and we’re so grateful to our network for the time we had…”
Continued Marks, “Thank you to everyone who made this journey so special for us. Your tweets, podcasts, and intricate conspiracy theories have made it all worthwhile. Fingers crossed that our wonderful studio, MRC, can find a way to keep the dream alive! But in the meantime, one more episode until the end of a chapter. See you Sunday!”
Counterpart, which Starz had picked up straight-to-series with a two-season order, stars Simmons as Howard Silk, a lowly cog in a Berlin-based bureaucratic UN spy agency. He discovers his organization safeguards a crossing into a parallel dimension and is thrust into a shadow world in which the only man he can trust is his near-identical counterpart from this parallel world. The series, filmed in Berlin, has been well received by critics, earning a 100% Fresh score on Rotten Tomatoes for both of its seasons to date, and it won an Emmy for Main Title Design.
In addition to the acclaim, Counterpart developed a devoted fan following but has not been able to attract a broad audience. Its most recent Live+3 deliveries were 434,000 total viewers and 136,000 adults 18-49 for the February 3 episode.