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ABC’s Quantico is returning for season three, but with a few changes.
The Priyanka Chopra vehicle has been renewed for a shortened 13-episode third season, with showrunner and creator Josh Safran exiting. A search is underway for a new showrunner. Sources note the renewal talks were extended after discussions about moving the production from New York to Los Angeles. Additionally, sources say Quantico, which has undergone a number of creative changes as the one-time FBI drama attempts to broaden out its viewership, was among the ABC dramas to have seen its licensing fee trimmed in a bid to cut costs.
Season two of the series moved in January from Sundays to Mondays following The Bachelor after freshman drama Conviction fizzled. Its new slot didn’t help matters much, as the ABC Studios drama proceeded to notch a string of series lows. When adding in seven days of DVR, season two averaged 5 million total viewers and a 1.5 in the demo.
All told, Chopra’s international appeal, a shift to focus on politics (and President Donald Trump) and a Netflix streaming deal helped Quantico score a third-season pickup.
Safran, meanwhile, will remain on board as a consultant and shift to developing new projects. “My deal on the show was two years only and it’s up,” Safran told The Hollywood Reporter. “I’m leaving the show in a good place and capable hands.”
Quantico was among a number of ABC series (including Agents of SHIELD, Once Upon a Time and The Goldbergs) to have its license fee cut. It joins a drama lineup that includes Grey’s Anatomy, How to Get Away With Murder, Once, the final season of Scandal and Designated Survivor. The network, meanwhile, has already picked up eight more new dramas for the 2017-18 broadcast season. With American Idol set for midseason, ABC has little remaining shelf space, which could help explain Quantico‘s short order.
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