Fans of the Starz sci-fi spy drama Counterpart woke up to some bad news today, as series creator Justin Marks announced the premium cabler won’t be picking the series up for season 3. The news comes just a week before the season 2 finale, which will turn the episode into a de facto series finale, unless MRC, the studio that produces Counterpart, can find another home on cable or elsewhere for the J.K. Simmons-led program.
If this is indeed the end of Counterpart, the series will be remembered for a variety of reasons, not the least of which will be its brief but interesting run that saw two seasons of a show filmed on two continents and released in the same year. But, in addition to the apparent efficiency of the production itself, the show should also be commended for the ability of the writers’ room — which includes Mad Men and Mindhunter alum Erin Levy — to deliver a thrilling, intelligent existential drama tied up in a world of spy craft and inter-dimensional weirdness. The blend of genres turned the series into one of the most original dramas on television at the moment, making news of its cancellation all the more disappointing.
Marks shared the news with his followers and fans of Counterpart on Twitter, saying that he and his writers were pleased with the story they were able to tell, and that he is holding out hope that the series may live on elsewhere. Read Marks’s initial tweet below:
Though Marks didn’t give a reason for the cancellation, it could be surmised that that series simply didn’t garner enough attention in terms of ratings or awards, despite the stellar dual roles played by nearly everyone in the cast, and by Simmons in particular. Season 2 reportedly saw a decline in the ratings, garnering only about a quarter of a million viewers on a weekly basis, according to TVLine. That and the fact that the series is filmed in both Los Angeles and Berlin may have contributed to the decision by Starz not to renew the series for a third season.
Intelligent spy dramas have been on television quite a lot lately, though they sometimes struggle to find a large audience. FX’s The Americans similarly struggled in the ratings and found it challenging to gain recognition with various award shows until its final season. It’s a shame that Counterpart wasn’t given a similar chance at the premium cabler, but fans can at least hold out hope that it will be attractive enough to be picked up by another channel or streaming service.
Counterpart will air its series finale, ‘Better Angels’ next Sunday @8pm on Starz.
Source: Justin Marks