Starz opted not to pick up J.K. Simmons-fronted drama Counterpart for a third season after the February finale of season two.
Starz COO Jeffrey Hirsch addressed the cancellation at the TCA summer press tour and admitted that the show’s audience was “too male” to appeal to its female focused strategy.
“Counterpart was a great show, we had great partners in MRC and Justin is a great writer, but it was a very complicated show, a very male show. We had picked that show up and made a two season commitment before we’d honed in on this premium female strategy,” he said,
“When you look at bringing shows back, it really has to serve that core premium female audience and if it doesn’t we have to find something else,” Hirsch added. “If it doesn’t serve our core strategy, we’re just not going to do it.”
The sci-fi espionage thriller, from creator/executive producer Justin Marks and executive producer Jordan Horowitz, was produced by MRC.
Counterpart, which Starz had picked up straight-to-series with a two-season order, stars Simmons as Howard Silk, a lowly cog in a Berlin-based bureaucratic UN spy agency. He discovers his organization safeguards a crossing into a parallel dimension and is thrust into a shadow world in which the only man he can trust is his near-identical counterpart from this parallel world.
The series, filmed in Berlin, was well received by critics, earning a 100% Fresh score on Rotten Tomatoes for both of its seasons to date, and it won an Emmy for Main Title Design. In addition to the acclaim, Counterpart also developed a devoted fan following but was not been able to attract a broad audience.
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