Originally billed as a limited series, the USA Network's Political Animals will not see a second season.
In an attempt to develop more serious and acclaimed programming, USA had aggressively pursued Political Animals and envisioned it as a regular series, depending upon the performance of the six-episode miniseries. Premiering in mid-July to an audience of 3.8 million total viewers, the show averaged 3.2 million viewers in Live+7 (the number that watched a program either while it was broadcast or watched via DVR within the next seven days) during its modest run over the summer. Although these numbers weren't bad for Sunday evenings with little support on USA, they weren't strong enough to justify the large price tag on the series.
Boasting a world-class cast including Sigourney Weaver, Carla Gugino, Ellen Burstyn, and Ciarán Hinds, the political family drama was reportedly inspired by a number of former First Families who have lived in the White House, but it seemed to be most prominently based on the relationship between Bill and Hillary Clinton. Weaver portrayed Elaine Barrish, Governor of Illinois and ex-wife of former President Donald "Bud" Hammond (Hinds) who divorced her cheating husband after conceding the Democratic nomination to her opponent, Paul Garcetti (Adrian Pasdar). Two years later as President Garcetti's Secretary of State, Barrish must contend with international issues while trying to keep her family together. Nah, doesn't sound familiar at all.
In a statement, USA continued to laud the series and its producers. "We are proud of Political Animals, our miniseries that attracted critical acclaim and impacted the cultural conversation this summer," the network said. "It was a pleasure to work with Greg Berlanti and Laurence Mark and a powerful cast led by Sigourney Weaver. We look forward to collaborating again with these immensely talented creatives."
Responding to the news via Twitter, series creator Greg Berlanti praised the project as "one of the best and most rewarding experiences of my life," adding, "The cast, the crew, writers, studio and USA were all a dream to work with. We all got to make what we set out to. Couldn't be more proud!"
Earlier this week, USA also declined to renew comedic drama Common Law and legal drama Fairly Legal. On the other hand, the network recently finalized a deal to bring back Burn Notice for a seventh season and renewed several of its other original series.
Will you miss Political Animals?