Political Animals: Could Buzz Offset Soft Ratings and Beget a Season 2? And With the Same Cast?

Though Political Animals, USA Network’s star-studded “limited series event,” by no means roared out of the gate ratings-wise, laying claim to a piece of the pop culture conversation and generating buzz in other ways could – could – be enough to trigger a Season 2 pick-up.

Facing stiff competition in its July 15 bow – including Breaking Bad‘s final season opener, HBO’s noisy if polarizing The Newsroom and A&E’s ever-rising LongmirePolitical Animals started off with an audience of 2.6 million total viewers and a 0.5 demo rating. In Week 2, those numbers dipped, about 10 percent.

But when asked if there was a ratings target/minimum that would prompt a renewal order, NBC Universal chair Bonnie Hammer shook her head and told TVLine, “We never quite measure it that black-and-white. We want to see what the response is, we want to see who comes [and see] what kind of interesting buzz it brings to USA as a whole.

“It’s never just, ‘Do you hit a certain rating?’” she reiterated. “It’s really about the whole, what it adds to USA as a brand.”

Though Political Animals was from the get-go announced as a six-week limited series, series creator Greg Berlanti tells us “the hope” has always been to tell more stories about the Barrish family (fronted by Sigourney Weaver), intrepid journo Susan Berg (Carla Gugino) et al.

“Everyone is contracted for multiple seasons if we get picked up for multiple seasons,” Berlanti says. “We have a whole life of the characters [planned out], some of which is set up in these six [episodes], and a lot of which we pay off in these six.”

“The curtain can come down [after] six and hopefully you’ll be satisfied with what’s gone on,” adds executive producer Laurence Mark. “But we’re happy to raise the curtain again!”

Two weeks in, what’s your read on Political Animals? Do you vote yea or nay?

Comments (227)

  • I love this show. 2 thumbs up. Hoping for many seasons.

    Comment by Mac – July 29, 2012 08:00 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • We absolutely love Political Animals! I hope it continues for many more seasons..

    Comment by Laura – July 30, 2012 08:06 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Best show of the summer! Great acting and story line. I really hope they bring this show back! We need show with character and depth during the summer season.

    Comment by tara – July 30, 2012 07:23 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I absolutely love this show!!! I look forward to every Sunday now!

    Comment by Megan – August 2, 2012 09:01 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Every week when the show ends, I find myself wanting it to go on and on. The cast is great. I hope this one comes back after the season finale. Sigourney Weaver is so good and powerful as the protagonist.

    Comment by BBBoomer1946 – August 2, 2012 12:51 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • YAY! Give us a season 2! I almost didn’t want to watch it b/c it was limited, but I still did and seeing the first set of episodes made me hope that USA would change their minds and make it a real series and have a season 2 and beyond!

    Comment by Eric J. Spaich – August 2, 2012 03:58 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Best politics show ever keeps you guessing

    Comment by Eric – August 2, 2012 05:47 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • This is a great show. I love it. I’m a Conservative Republican, but I love the spin on this show, have never watched anything quite like it. Please lets have another season =D

    I’ll be telling all my friends to watch. Mind you that many of us watch it on the internet, after it’s posted. I don’t have cable. So I hope that is being included in the view statistics.

    Comment by Kev – August 3, 2012 09:44 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Political Animals must be picked up for a second season!! I love the show and would be gravely disappointed if it were not renewed. The cast is phenomenal and I want to follow their stories for many seasons to come.

    Comment by Kmm – August 3, 2012 10:42 AM PDT  Reply To This Post

    Comment by tRINA – August 3, 2012 11:24 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • This is seriously one of my favorite shows on TV!! I hope it gets picked up!!!!

    Comment by Andre – August 3, 2012 11:45 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • OMG! I love this show!!!! I can’t wait for the decision to bring on another season!!!!!

    Comment by Cheron – August 3, 2012 12:43 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • This is the best show on tv!!! Love it!! Please pick it up! Am obssessed! James Wolk is adorable and sigorney weaver is fantastic. I love her character! And the writing is outstanding.

    Comment by Emma – August 4, 2012 09:50 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • You got to bring this show back! It’s just too good a program! Please give us what we want! A full season (or three)!

    Comment by Bill_31964 – August 4, 2012 11:17 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • It is so nice to see something other than stupidity on TV. “Jersey Shores” springs to mind here. It is nice to see the good, the bad and the beautiful and the ugly sides of humanity spring forth. I hate American politics… but I adore this show. For some reason it reminds me a little of “The West Wing”. “Political Animals” and “The Newsroom” are just what television needs right now. Heck, it is just what people need right now. It is about time we get people on TV that we can look up too and admire for having brains.

    Comment by Woman – August 6, 2012 03:29 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Agree – too much “reality” tv out there…

      Comment by SM – August 20, 2012 06:02 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • We have never watched a series on USA, but my husband and I love Political Animals! Please keep it on!

    Comment by Nancy Cronin – August 6, 2012 05:08 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • WHAT?!?! You’ve never watched a show on USA Network??? They have a lot of good shows!! Characters Wanted :-)

      Comment by Andre R. Meaux – August 6, 2012 06:01 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Keep this show going, PLEASE! My friends and I have found our new favorite show (who knew it would be a USA program) and are in love with The Hammonds!

    Comment by hidell – August 6, 2012 05:56 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • yea!!! I DVR it and stay up way past my bedtime watching

    Comment by jenny – August 8, 2012 08:26 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I love this show, and the writing, especially for the Elaine Barrish and Bud characters, is superb! I can at least dream about politicians doing the right things for America. Renewal would be awesome!

    Comment by Mary W – August 9, 2012 12:41 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • This is the BEST show of the year!!! The DVR is set to record all new episodes and would love to see it filled with this series!

    Comment by neosaner@aol.com – August 12, 2012 11:29 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Fabulous cast, Fabulous writing!!!!!
      More, more, more please……

      Comment by Gary – August 13, 2012 01:44 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • LOVE IT!!~ looking forward to “season 2.”

    Comment by Sassi – August 13, 2012 03:42 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • big time YES. second season is necessary!

    Comment by cL – August 13, 2012 11:43 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Yes this Is my favorite show on tv and I love the relationship and drama that this show brings to the table ! I’m in love with these charecters and their issues! THIS SHOW BELONGS IN THE (USA) family ! It’s really is addicting I can watch it over n over again !
    Crossing my fingers for season 2 !
    USA please do not let me down :)))

    Comment by Rosey – August 15, 2012 04:17 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • It gives me hope seeing “season finale” in the promos … I hope they bring political animials back. such a great series. I look forward to Sunday nights, well Monday afternoons when I watch it

    Comment by mark – August 15, 2012 10:11 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I honestly hope for a regular season run of this show. The 10:00 time slot is one that rarely holds my attention, but I make plans to kick the kids out of the living room so I can watch Political Animals. PLEASE consider making this go on.

    Comment by Christine Sargeant – August 16, 2012 11:21 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Renew this show.

    Comment by Linda Susan Drennan – August 17, 2012 04:02 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Please bring Political A back for a second season!

    Comment by Maggie Targove – August 19, 2012 07:24 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Love it! Love ALL the characters! Please bring it back!

    Comment by Karen – August 19, 2012 01:40 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Absolutely would be a loss for television if this is not picked up BUT please improve the writing a bit. Please consider leaving the platform you currently have, but just build on it something a little more compelling to attract a wider audience.

    Otherwise, this is a really cool show.

    Comment by Paul – August 19, 2012 06:12 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE bring it back! I love this show!

    Comment by KK – August 19, 2012 06:46 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • After the 3rd episode, it was no longer promoted as a “limited series event” but simply as season one, the final was no longer called a series final, but a season final.

    so i think its safe to say that the network is hoping the same

    Comment by Derrick – August 19, 2012 08:01 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Yay…I would love for this show to be renewed my favorite drama by far of this summer!

    Comment by Ally – August 19, 2012 08:08 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I think Political Animals is one of the best shows on TV! It not only has amazing actors, but it has depth to it. I would be bummed to see that USA did not bring this show back!!!

    Comment by Elise Dixie Jane – August 19, 2012 08:11 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • The show makes my Sunday night palattable and I would love to see a season 2 done. I was online to see when a next installment might happen, but if we are testing the waters this does hold its own to “The Newsroom”.

    Comment by Ken – August 19, 2012 08:12 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I do hope u renew political animals. It started a bit weak but got stronger with each episode. For what it’s worth I’m also a fan of the newsroom which is on opposite PA but would dvr newsroom and watch PA at its run time. Please renew. What a great cast and enjoyable show.

    Comment by Rj – August 19, 2012 08:16 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Political Animals has Pushed other Sunday evening shows onto the DVR. Love the show…Gotta bring on season 2!!

    Comment by Dave – August 19, 2012 08:21 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I to like this show and think it could be nominated for an Emmy. I hope the show returns as well.

    Comment by bill – August 19, 2012 08:25 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • This show is fantastic! Keep it!

    Comment by Pamela – August 19, 2012 08:45 PM PDT  Reply To This Post

    Comment by Brittany – August 19, 2012 08:48 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • For all that is holy, PLEASE….bring back this show!! The characters are rich and complex & there’s plenty of story left in all of them! Sigourney’s FANTASTIC!!! I’m gonna need more of this family…please, please, please…more Political Animals. There’s a never ending supply of storytelling in politics. Let’s keep this show on the air! There’s plenty of crap out there…very little shows of substance. Let’s do this!!

    Comment by Keira R – August 19, 2012 08:52 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • By far my favorite show of the summer. Could not get enough and am do bummed it’s over. Would LOVE if they made another season!!

    Comment by Lea list – August 19, 2012 09:19 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I love the finale. Not one person had sex. I dont mind if there is a sexual vibe in the show, but I dont live in a world where everyone is cheating and having sex at every moment. It was too much in the shows before, I love the show and will continue to watch, I just hope they stand on the merits of the show and quit with the play for any viewer.

    Comment by Margaret – August 19, 2012 09:23 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Agree with comments – don’t need the sex because the political tensions carry it!

      Comment by SM – August 20, 2012 05:59 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • This is a very well written, fabulously acted show. I don’t think they advertised enough because if people knew more about it EVERYONE would be watching. It’s definitely one of THE best shows on television and should have many more seasons to come.

    Comment by TF – August 19, 2012 10:16 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • My thought, too – about the advertising.

      Comment by SM – August 20, 2012 05:57 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Definitely want to see Season 2!!! Loved the show. Watched the first episode to give it a try – and was hooked :-) Thanks for some fantastic TV!!!

    Comment by Diana – August 19, 2012 10:54 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • LOVING this new political drama. Agree that Sunday nights are VERY full. But will continue to watch whatever night it comes on. Bring on season 2, 3, 4, 5…

    Comment by SM – August 20, 2012 05:57 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • AMEN to that!!

      Comment by oz1967 – August 20, 2012 06:15 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Do the RIGHT thing….GIVE US MORE!!!
        Such a wonderful cast and so many timely issues that can be addressed during this current and embarrassing Presidential race!

        Comment by GNI – August 21, 2012 05:17 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • for Sigourney Weaver alone let alone the perfect ensemble cast, SEASON 2 HAS TO BE MADE.

    Comment by oz1967 – August 20, 2012 06:15 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Absolutely. I’m addicted to this show and I can’t believe that there are only six episodes. We certainly need more. I was at the edge of my seat watch the finale. It’s fantastic! What a great TV!

    Comment by Andie – August 20, 2012 07:55 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Wow, the best TV show this summer. Want more. Great cast and characters.

    Comment by Kat – August 20, 2012 08:22 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • love this series. .. please bring it back !!!!!

    Comment by Jen – August 20, 2012 08:51 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Yes!! For Sure! Great Finale! Great Actors! Great Characters!

    Comment by Geneva – August 20, 2012 09:19 AM PDT  Reply To This Post

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