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It’s one and done for USA Network’s Eyewitness.
The network has opted to cancel the drama after one low-rated season, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.
Picked up straight to series in January 2016, the show was based on the Norwegian crime thriller Oyevitne and centered on two innocent teenage boys who witness a shooting in the forest and barely escape with their lives. Desperate to keep their relationship a secret and in fear of being found by the shooter, they remain silent, but soon learn that what has been seen cannot be unseen and witnessing such a horrible event changes everything.
Julianne Nicholson starred in the drama from Shades of Blue creator Adi Hasak, who adapted the series for USA and served as executive producer and showrunner. Jarl Emsell Larsen and Scott Peters also executive produced. Catherine Hardwicke (Twilight) exec produced the pilot and directed the first two episodes of the series, which hailed from Universal Cable Productions.
USA Network aired the drama on Sundays, pairing it with repeats of Law & Order: SVU for a night of procedurals. Sources tell THR that Eyewitness did not hold its fair share of ratings following SVU, which was the network’s main goal with the series. Eyewitness replaced low-cost Canadian import Movie in the Sundays at 10 p.m. slot.
“We decided to put it on Sunday. It’s not exactly about opening up a Sunday night; it was because we’ve had Law & Order: SVU as a stack there the past few years,” USA president Chris McCumber told THR in August. “That does consistently well on Sunday nights. If we have a crime drama audience there already, why not put one of our new crime dramas in there among that stack and program directly toward that audience?”
Continued McCumber: “The Sunday night SVU stack has been one that we’ve consistently promoted — for example, we do stuff around different themes, whether it’s hairstyles or whatever it is. You’ve got an audience there leaning in to this kind of stuff. The way we schedule, we look at where can you find an audience that’s already leaning in on that night. Mr. Robot on Wednesday, when we launched it there last year, paired well with Suits and we still see that now. The opportunity is you have an audience that’s already leaning in, let’s put the other show in there.”
Meanwhile, the fate of fellow freshman drama Falling Water remains to be determined, though its early SVOD deal with Amazon may help the Gale Anne Hurd-produced drama score a second season.
USA Network’s current scripted roster includes Mr. Robot, Colony, Queen of the South, Shooter, the forthcoming Jessica Biel anthology The Sinner and Suits, with the latter ranking as the cabler’s last Blue Skies-brand programming as well as its longest-running scripted original.
Eyewitness marks a rare one-and-done for USA Network and joins recent flops including Complications, Rush and comedy Benched.
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