It looks as though Shooter has reached the end of the line, as USA announces the series will end with the current season. The conspiracy thriller is adapted from the Stephen Hunter book series, which was the basis for the 2007 Mark Wahlberg film directed by Antoine Fuqua. Telling the story of Bob Lee Swagger, a decorated military veteran who is roped into preventing a twisty plot to assassinate the president of the United States, USA’s series stretched the idea into a long form story, one that delved deeper into both the conspiratorial aspects of the narrative, as well as Swagger’s personal and professional life.
Shooter premiered in 2016 to decent reviews and favorable ratings, but the overall viewership of the show has declined in season 3, leading to USA’s decision not to move forward with a fourth season. What led to the ratings downturn is not entirely clear, but the fact that the network aired a truncated eight-episode second season following Phillippe’s off-screen injury may not have helped matters.
As reported by Variety, series co-producers Universal Cable Productions and Paramount Television are not necessarily done with the series, and have begun the process of finding a new home for a potential fourth season. An obvious choice would be the recently rebranded Paramount Network, which airs the Kevin Costner-starring Yellowstone as well as the Emmy-nominated Waco limited series. Despite it seemingly being a shoo-in for placement at the network, Variety’s sources say Shooter's chances of ending up there are slim.
That leaves the usual streaming suspects as far as potential new homes for Shooter. Both Netflix and Amazon have done their duty by nabbing the recently canceled Lucifer and The Expanse, respectively, so in terms of fairness, perhaps now it's Hulu’s turn at bat. Hulu seems like an obvious choice, but Netfilx does currently carry the streaming rights to the first two seasons of the series, giving the streaming giant an incentive to add a fourth season of conspiratorial Phillippe action to its catalog of original content.
There is, of course, the likelihood that no one opts to pick the series up for season 4, in which case Shooter will come to an end in just a few weeks time. Given the nature of the show’s central storyline, it will be interesting to see where the writers leave the series, and whether or not that can be seen as an indication of their confidence it will continue on somewhere else.
Shooter continues Thursday with ‘Alpha Dog’ @10pm on USA.