Earlier today, the entertainment world was both shocked and saddened by the news that Bill Paxton had passed away at the age of 61. Over his 30 year-plus career in Hollywood, Paxton had appeared in nearly 100 films and TV shows, including blockbusters like Aliens, True Lies, and Twister. In more recent years, Paxton had taken to spending quite a bit of time on the small screen, starring for 5 seasons on the acclaimed HBO drama Big Love, playing a recurring role on Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. in 2014, and starring in the History Channel miniseries Texas Rising in 2015.
Paxton’s most recent TV project was the CBS crime drama Training Day, which premiered just a few weeks ago. Based on the premise of director Antonie Fuqua’s 2001 Oscar-winning film of the same name, CBS’ Training Day flipped the races of the two principal characters around. Whereas the original Training Day cast Ethan Hawke as an upstart cop opposite morally corrupted detective Denzel Washington, the TV series casts newcomer Justin Cornwell as young cop Kyle Craig opposite Paxton as morally ambiguous detective Frank Roarke.
While CBS has yet to make any type of formal announcement concerning the future of Training Day, Deadline reports that production on season 1 of the drama wrapped back in December, meaning Paxton had already completed work on all 13 episodes prior to his passing. Only 4 episodes have aired to date, meaning that fans of Paxton have 9 more episodes in which they can look forward to seeing him practice his craft.
Realistically, Training Day was already on the bubble, as the ratings have been below average for CBS. The series’ debut episode drew only a 0.9 rating in the advertiser coveted 18-49 demographic, and brought in under 5 million viewers. Training Day’s numbers have only gone down from there, with the most recent episode posting a 0.7. With Paxton’s sudden death, the chances of the show getting picked up for another season may have fallen even more.
Business realities aside, at least Paxton’s many fans still have some more fresh performances of his to enjoy, despite how out of his nowhere his passing came. Paxton also has one more feature film set to arrive in theaters on April 28, sci-fi thriller The Circle. Paxton appears alongside a star-studded cast, including lead Emma Watson, Tom Hanks, Karen Gillan, John Boyega, and Patton Oswalt.
Training Day continues Thursday with ‘Wages of Sin’ @10pm on CBS.