USA’s ‘Political Animals’ won’t continue

Senior Television Writer
11.02.12 11 Comments


USA has declined to order another installment of “Political Animals,” despite earlier suggestions that the miniseries might continue.

As first reported by TVLine, and then confirmed by USA’s head of research Ted Linhart, USA will not be going forward with the Greg Berlanti-produced series, starring Sigourney Weaver and Ciaran Hinds as thinly-disguised versions of the Clintons, James Wolk and Sebastian Stan as their sons, and Carla Gugino as a reporter whose fortunes have been tied to theirs.

The miniseries drew some of USA’s best reviews ever for original programming, but it was so off-brand that it only drew about 3.2 million viewers per installment, well below the likes of “Burn Notice.”

I enjoyed the performances in “Political Animals,” but the longer the miniseries went along, the less I enjoyed it. The finale, in setting things up for a potential sequel, took a story that had been about the difficulties of being a powerful woman in a male-dominated field and put all the power back in the hands of the men. And in bumping off Adrian Pasdar’s mostly good guy president and replacing him with Dylan Baker’s evil VP, the writers were stripping away any kind of moral ambiguity about whether it was right for Weaver’s Elaine Barrish to run against a sitting president from her own party.

The morally grey parts were what interested me about “Political Animals,” but they were also part (along with, I assume, the subject matter) of why it didn’t do well enough to continue.

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