USA is upping its bet on Mr. Robot.
The NBCUniversal cable network has increased the acclaimed drama’s season-two order from 10 to 12 episodes and has greenlighted a live aftershow, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.
Mr. Robot will return with two back-to-back episodes, presented with limited commercial breaks, on Wednesday, July 13, at 10 p.m. ET/PT followed by a live, hourlong aftershow titled Hacking Robot. No host has been announced yet for the aftershow, which will be executive produced by Aliyah Silverstein and hails from Wilshire Studios.
Series creator Sam Esmail will helm all 12 episodes of season two of Mr. Robot after making his TV directorial debut on the first season.
The increased episode count is no surprise given the important role Mr. Robot has played in USA’s new direction. In recent years, the cabler has moved away from “blue skies” programming, like White Collar and Psych, and more toward edgier fare, like Mr. Robot as well as cartel drama Queen of the South, which premieres Thursday.
Since drawing critical acclaim, as well as Golden Globe and Critics’ Choice awards for best drama series, Mr. Robot has become the focal point of USA’s new tagline: “We the Bold,” which launched with a Mr. Robot-centric promo earlier this year.
In recent years, aftershows have become increasingly popular as cable networks look for new ways to build on their signature series. AMC has found success with The Talking Dead for The Walking Dead, as well as Talking Saul for Better Call Saul, both hosted by Chris Hardwick. This past season, HBO launched a Game of Thrones aftershow, After the Thrones, produced by Bill Simmons and hosted by Andy Greenwald and Chris Ryan, who both write for Simmons’ recently launched website, The Ringer.
It remains to be seen whether Hacking Robot will be an occasional special or a weekly occurrence to follow new episodes of Mr. Robot.