USA Delays 'Shooter' Premiere in Wake of Dallas Sniper Attack (Exclusive)

The Ryan Phillippe sniper drama will premiere July 26, a week later than originally scheduled.
Dean Buscher/USA Network
USA Network's 'Shooter'

In the wake of yet another tragedy, USA has opted to postpone the premiere of forthcoming series Shooter.

The sniper drama, which opens with the sound of a gunshot along with real-life images of historical incidents of gun violence, is being held a week given the recent attack in downtown Dallas, where, in the wee hours of July 7, a heavily armed sniper with a checkered military background gunned down a cadre of police officers, leaving five of them dead. 

"In light of recent tragic events and out of respect for the victims, their families and our viewers, we have decided to postpone the premiere date for the upcoming USA Network series Shooter to July 26," a network spokesperson said Monday in a statement. The unfortunately titled series' 10-episode first season had been set to launch at 10 p.m. ET/PT on Tuesday, July 19.

Shooter, which stars Ryan Phillippe and Omar Epps, is based on the 2007 Mark Wahlberg film of the same name. Much like the movie, the TV show centers on a U.S. veteran and American hero who is wrongly accused of a crime and is trying to clear his name and return to his family. 

The series, which was ordered in February, hails from Paramount TV and Universal Cable Productions and counts Wahlberg as an executive producer. In recent months, USA has partnered with veterans’ groups and is “Got Your 6” certified as a program that portrays veterans both accurately and sensitively.  

In what is a particularly grim commentary on modern society, such delays are becoming increasingly common. In fact, just last month TNT announced it would be delaying the season premiere of The Last Ship in the wake of the Orlando, Fla., nightclub massacre. The drama's two-hour premiere included a shooting at a Vietnamese nightclub.

Some 10 months before that, USA decided to hold the season one finale of Mr. Robot a week when an ex-employee of a Virginia TV station killed a reporter and photographer while on live TV. In another eerie twist, the Mr. Robot episode in question involved a shooting occurring on live TV as well. Other cases include episodes of Castle, NCIS: Los Angeles, Supergirl, 24 and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, all of which faced delays when life suddenly imitated art.

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