2:30pm PT by Kate Stanhope
USA Renews 'Mr. Robot' for Season 2 Hours Ahead of Series Premiere
USA is betting big on Mr. Robot.
The network has renewed the hacker drama for a second season hours ahead of it's official cable premiere, USA announced Wednesday.
Although Mr. Robot will not premiere on USA until Wednesday at 10 p.m., more than 2.6 million people have sampled the pilot thanks to an aggressive pre-premiere push by the network. On May 27, the pilot episode was made available onVOD, the USA Now app, Hulu, YouTube, iTunes, Amazon Instant Video, Google Play, Vudu, Xbox Video, Playstation Video and M-Go. The first episode will also be available on nearly a dozen websites including USANetwork.com and THR.com.
In addition to widely positive reviews from TV critics, Mr. Robot won the coveted audience award at the 2015 SXSW Festival in March. The series was also an official selection of the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival in April.
Mr. Robot centers on a young programmer, Elliot (Rami Malek), who suffers from an antisocial disorder and can only connect to people by hacking them. Christian Slater stars as Mr. Robot, a mysterious anarchist who recruits Elliot into an underground hacker organization intent on bringing down corporate America.
Sam Esmail (Comet) created the series and executive produces alongside Anonymous Content's Steve Golin (True Detective), Chad Hamilton (Breakup at a Wedding) and Niels Arden Oplev (Under the Dome), the latter of whom directed the pilot.
The second season of Mr. Robot will premiere in 2016 and include at least 10 episodes. In an interview with THR, Esmail was vocal about his desire to keep the seasons short. "We are building towards that ending and I don’t want to deviate from that," he said.
The renewal marks USA's second for the 2016-2017 season, with veteran medical drama Royal Pains already set to return in 2016 for season eight. Mr. Robot is one of two new shows premiering this summer on USA. The other, Complications from Burn Notice's Matt Nix, bowed last week.
“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,” said Chris McCumber, president of USA Network. “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.”
“Sam Esmail has captured and distilled our ongoing conversation about identity, privacy, value and self-worth,” said Jeff Wachtel, president and chief content officer of NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment. “We are all talking about the central themes of Mr. Robot — Sam has just done it in a completely original and uniquely compelling way.”
Mr. Robot premieres Wednesday at 10 p.m. on USA.