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Bravo is refining its scripted approach.
The NBCUniversal-owned cable network has canceled the scripted drama Imposters after a two-season run. The June 7 season-ender will now serve as a series finale.
Created by Adam Brooks and Paul Adelstein, the show starring Inbar Lavi followed a persona-shifting con artist and her three most recent victims, who pursued her in a game of cat and mouse. Rob Heaps, Parker Young, Marianne Rendon, Stephen Bishop and Brian Benben co-starred.
While never a ratings breakout, Imposters had a small but loyal base on Bravo. Season one averaged 1.4 million total viewers per episode, up 23 percent in the advertiser-coveted adults 18-49 demographic. When factoring in delayed viewing, Imposters‘ first season was a top 10 cable show in the all-important demo.
Sources say Imposters had a strong run on Netflix, and Bravo had hoped that the Universal Cable Productions project would receive a ratings bump following its SVOD run, given that the cable network is not best known for its scripted series. That was not the case, as season two, which returned a year later without a lot of marketing muscle behind it, lost a chunk of its live viewership.
Sources say UCP may try to shop Imposters elsewhere, with Netflix a possibility, given that the series is said to have performed better on the streaming giant than on its original home at Bravo. The show has been a profit generator at UCP, thanks to the Netflix deal and strong international sales.
In a larger sense, the decision to cancel Imposters marks a change in Bravo’s scripted direction. The cable network’s first scripted original — Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce, starring Lisa Edelstein and Adelstein — will end with its fifth season, bowing June 14. Once that wraps, Bravo’s lone scripted drama will be big-swing anthology Dirty John, starring Connie Britton and Eric Bana. The project was picked up following a bidding war, with Bravo handing out a two-season order for the drama and supporting the series with companion docuseries on corporate sibling Oxygen. The move marks a shift in Bravo’s scripted direction to bigger and bolder programming that can cut through a cluttered landscape expected to top 500 scripted originals this year.
For his part, writer/executive producer/actor Adelstein next stars in NBC’s fall comedy I Feel Bad.
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