Later tonight, USA will debut the latest series in its new initiative to move away from the “blue skies” brand they’ve become known for, Mr. Robot. However, no one could have expected the network would throw as much support as it has behind the new Christian Slater drama.
How much support you ask? In addition to debuting the show at SXSW and putting the pilot online a month early, it has now been revealed that USA has already renewed the series for a much deserving second season.
Said USA Network President Chris McCumber:
“We knew from the moment we read Sam Esmail’s provocative script, and witnessed the brilliant performances of Rami Malek and Christian Slater, that Mr. Robot is a stand-out series that is unlike anything currently on television. The overwhelmingly positive fan reactions to the pilot and the broad sampling of it, reaffirms our confidence in the series, and we’re excited to see where this timely drama will take us for season two.”
Early renewals are all the rage among cable networks these days. In fact, some networks are going so far as to offer two season orders when first ordering a show into production (such as how AMC did when it ordered its Walking Dead spin-off Fear the Walking Dead for summer 2015). The big reason for this has to do with the changing ways in which a television audience grows in the modern era.
A show like Mr. Robot will find a steady amount of viewers between seasons via whatever streaming deal USA ends up signing for the show. Those new viewers will then, hopefully, start tuning in further down the line. The only way to make that model work, though, is to assure there’s no decision being made off what will possibly be a low rated first season. By renewing the show now, USA is taking the matter of choice out of the equation. Now that the show’s renewed, it’s season one ratings don’t matter (which they didn’t much anyway since the show is a Universal Cable Production – thus meaning USA is ultimately making money off the show regardless of its ratings).
In addition, Mr. Robot is more than deserving of this renewal. It’s the best show of the summer and the best thing USA has produced since its early days of Psych and Burn Notice. Mr. Robot has a real chance to be the network’s defining show like Breaking Bad once was for AMC, and that’s more than enough reason to throw as much weight behind it as possible.
Mr. Robot airs Wednesday at 10/9c on USA.