USA Network has ordered a fourth season of its thriller limited drama series The Sinner, with Bill Pullman set to reprise his role as Detective Harry Ambrose. Additionally, the network has picked up two new unscripted series, Instant Family (working title), starring Nicole Walters and Josh Walters, and The Rev (working title), headlined by Pastor Richard Hartley. Both are in the unscripted family sitcom genre, which the network has been focusing on following the success of Chrisley Knows Best.
The renewal and new series pickups are part of the current programming shift at USA away from ongoing scripted series toward more live and unscripted programming, along with “eventized” scripted projects, largely limited/anthology series.
This is a programming strategy that has been gaining momentum among basic cable networks as it is becoming increasingly challenging for premium scripted series to be sustained by the linear ad-supported cable business model.
USA, whose flagship series are WWE Raw and Chrisley Knows Best, has been beefing up its unscripted slate, with Instant Family and Rev joining recently added reboots of Temptation Island and The Biggest Loser as well as Chrisley Knows Best and its offshoot Growing Up Chrisley, Miz & Mrs., Straight Up Steve Austin and the upcoming summer competition series Cannonball.
USA’s two new scripted additions this summer are both event-style, the second installment of anthology Dirty John, starring Christian Slater and Amanda Peet, which debuted two weeks ago, and limited series Evel headline by Milo Ventimiglia.
Meanwhile, USA recently canceled a number of ongoing scripted series, the high-profile The Purge and Treadstone as well as Dare Me. There is no decision yet on freshman Briarpatch.
The Sinner Season 4, slated to premiere in 2021, will see the return of Derek Simonds as showrunner and executive producer, alongside executive producers Jessica Biel, Michelle Purple and Charlie Gogolak.
No word yet on who the new co-lead will be opposite Pullman. Season 3 starred Matt Bomer, who succeeded Jessica Biel and Carrie Coon, who starred opposite Pullman in Season 1 and 2, respectively.
“The Sinner has struck a chord with audiences with its signature ‘whydunnit’ style,” said Chris McCumber, President, USA Network & SYFY. “In Season 4, we’re excited to dig even deeper into the psyche of Bill Pullman’s beloved Detective Ambrose character, while introducing our audience to a compelling, completely new mystery.”
The first installment of The Sinner was the year’s No. 1 new cable series of 2017, and earned multiple award nominations including a Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie Emmy nomination for Biel. The Sinner‘s second season received a SAG nomination (for Male Actor in a Miniseries or TV Movie for Pullman) and a Critics’ Choice nomination (for Best Actress in a Movie/Miniseries for Carrie Coon). The ’s third season, starring Bomer, ranks as USA’s #1 original series YTD in key demos and is the year’s USA’s #1 original series across all platforms among total viewers (3.032MM P2+).
The six-episode half-hour series Instant Family (wt), from Sam Sarkoob and Bob Unger’s Line By Line Media, focuses on Nicole Walters, a type-A, energetic, jet-setting entrepreneur, and Josh Walters, her quirky and devoted husband and lawyer. Nicole and Josh had only been married a few years when their whole lives changed — they decided to open their home and hearts to three sisters living on the streets. Suddenly, they became brand new parents and were an “instant family”. Helping them navigate the wild world of parenting (and bringing the laughs) is Nicole’s best friend and “manny,” Eddie. The high-energy series focuses on the importance of balancing work and family, laughter and love… and demonstrates how the greatest things in life can come together in an instant.
Line By Line Media’s Justin Tucker, Sarkoob and Unger executive produce.
The eight-episode The Rev (wt), from Aengus James and Colin Miller’s This Is Just A Test LLC, centers around larger-than-life Pastor Richard Hartley. When he isn’t preaching and inspiring his congregation at his Long Island, NY church, he’s dealing with his rambunctious and loving family… all while utilizing his musical skills to make the church’s choir top notch. Having spent years travelling the globe working with incredible choirs and A-list musicians, Richard is now focused on his hometown choir and, with the help of his wife Stacey, trying to get his millennial children, Judea and Jordan, out of the house so that they can build their own dreams.
This Is Just A Test’s Aengus James, Colin Miller and Jen McClure-Metz executive produce.