'The Purge' and Treadstone' Canceled at USA

The Purge - Treadstone - publicity stills - Split - H 2020
USA Network; Jonathan Hession/USA Network

USA has canceled the scripted series The Purge and Treadstone amid a larger shift in strategy at the NBCUniversal-owned cable network. 

Both dramas were in-house shows, coming from Universal Content Productions, and both were based on Universal Pictures franchises — Blumhouse's The Purge series and the Bourne films, respectively. Despite those factors, the economics of two fairly pricey series that didn't draw big audiences were not favorable, even with a streaming deal at Amazon. The Purge is done after two seasons and Treadstone after one.

The two cancellations follow that of Dare Me, which USA dropped after a single season.

The Purge averaged 562,000 same-day viewers for its second season, barely more than half of the audience for its inaugural run in 2018. Treadstone drew 502,000 viewers for initial airings. Both shows (particularly Treadstone) showed substantial growth in delayed viewing, but as cord-cutting accelerates, USA (along with some other cablers) is moving away from a large roster of ongoing scripted shows.

The shift at USA has been going on for some time. The network is doubling down on its areas of strength, including WWE programming and unscripted shows like Temptation Island and Chrisley Knows Best. It's also looking more toward limited and event series a la Bravo import Dirty John and a limited series about the late daredevil Evel Knievel, picked up in September 2019, that's set to star Milo Ventimiglia.

USA's scripted roster also includes Queen of the South, Briarpatch and the anthology The Sinner. Queen of the South has been renewed for a fifth season (though a premiere date hasn't been set), while the other two are awaiting word on their fates. 

The Purge is executive produced by franchise creator James DeMonaco, Thomas Kelly, Michael Bay, Brad Fuller, Andrew Form and Sebastien K. Lemercier. Treadstone, set in the spy organization from the Bourne movies, comes from exec producers Tim Kring, Ramin Bahrani, Ben Smith, Jeffrey Weiner, Dan Friedkin, Bradley Thomas and Justin Levy.

Deadline first reported the cancellations.