Currently in the middle of bringing its extended third season to audiences, the action thriller Shooter has been cancelled at USA, which has decided to end the show after Season 3 has concluded. But star Ryan Phillippe might not yet need to go out and start looking for another big gig, as the production companies are currently in the process of trying to find Shooter a new home.
To get more of the bad news out of the way up front, Shooter is getting the axe at USA largely due to its surprisingly depleted ratings throughout the first chunk of Season 3. Even though Season 2 took a relatively small dip in viewership when compared to Season 1, and despite the behind-the-scenes issues that cropped up, Shooter was still doing well enough to return for another season. But while its smallest live audience had previously been 1.19 million people, for a Season 2 episode, Season 3 hit its highest numbers with its premiere, which only reached 0.92 million people. And from there, things dipped to a new series low of 0.67 million viewers.
It'd be one thing if Shooter's entire audience fell into the key 18-49 age demographic, since that's the most coveted group of consumers for advertisers to connect with. Alas, the book-to-film-to-TV adaptation is currently averaging a pretty paltry 0.2 demo rating, which is a pretty low number for even most cable TV networks.
But Paramount Television and Universal Cable Productions are definitely hoping that other companies' execs are willing to look past those totals to consider rescuing Shooter for a fourth season. According to Variety, the show is being shopped around, with discussions happening at Paramount Network. That would seem like an obvious place for Shooter to end up, but it's reportedly not going to play out successfully at Paramount Network, which has its own slate of original programming to deal with. Perhaps this would be a good time for a streaming service to step in and take over, since places like Amazon and Netflix don't have reason to pay attention to demographic totals like linear networks do.
This is just the latest bad news for Shooter, which has faced setbacks since before Season 1 even hit the air. The series premiere ended up getting delayed, since the timing of its originally planned debut was marred by multiple real-life shootings across the country, including the sniper attacks in Dallas. Then jump to Season 2, which had to get cut short due to Ryan Phillippe breaking his leg during a family outing, which required surgery. And late last year, Phillippe was hit with domestic abuse allegations from ex-girlfriend Elsie Hewitt, though he denied her claims as attempts to extort money from him.
While waiting to see what happens next with Shooter, don't forget to tune into USA on Thursdays at 10:00 p.m. ET to see how Season 3 will wrap up Swagger's story. And then head to our fall premiere schedule to see what other new and returning shows are on the way.