USA has found steady success in the arena of television dramas, with recent series like Suits and Mr. Robot bringing both viewers and critical acclaim to the cable network. The new show Shooter had the potential to either join a lineup of solid dramas or flop right out of the gate, especially with its multiple delays. The first episodes did well, though, and USA evidently has faith that Shooter has what it takes to hold an audience. The new series has officially been renewed for a Season 2.
Shooter is based on the 2007 movie of the same name, which in turn was based on Stephen Hunter's novel Point of Impact. Although the movie wasn't a huge financial success, USA deemed the premise worthy of a series. Shooter was originally set for release in July 2016, but tragic shootings in the real world prompted the network to delay debuting the new show. The first episode hit the airwaves on November 15, so it comes as a bit of a surprise that USA already made the decision to renew Shooter for a second season.
Only five episodes of the ten-episode first season have aired so far, and viewership to date has averaged 2.6 million total and 974,000 in the valuable 18 - 49 age demographic in Live+7 day measurements. Of the USA lineup, it ranks third in total viewership behind Suits and the recently cancelled Royal Pains as well as third in the 18 - 49 demo, behind Suits and Colony.
The numbers themselves aren't record-breakers, but Deadline reports that a significant portion of them come from folks who actually watch live rather than via streaming or On Demand after the original airing. High numbers for live viewership can translate to increased advertising revenue for the network. Even if Shooter falls behind other USA series overall, its live viewership gives it an edge.
Interestingly, Shooter has paired well with WWE SmackDown, which airs in the earlier time slot. 78% of the people who tune in to WWE SmackDown stick around on USA to watch Shooter afterward. The pairing has resulted in USA becoming the #1 ad-supported cable network on Tuesday nights in the 8 - 11 p.m. ET block. Throw in the fact that ratings for the first five episodes have been largely consistent, and Shooter could turn into a reliable hit for USA in the rest of its first season as well as its second.
Shooter stars Ryan Phillippe as a former marine and celebrated sniper named Bob Lee Swagger who had been living a quiet life of retirement from service until his former commanding officer recruited him to help foil a plot to kill the president. Unfortunately, Swagger soon discovered that the mission to save the president was actually a mission to assassinate the president, and he was being used as a patsy by the real bad guys. He had to go on the run from the authorities and now must work to clear his name and protect those he loves as best he can.
Tune in to USA on Tuesdays at 10 p.m. ET to see what's in store next for Bob Lee Swagger on Shooter. Check out our midseason TV premiere schedule to see what you can catch on the small screen in the near future.