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 are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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228 Comments
  1. goeze says:

    The left it open enough to warrant a season 2. However if it is not picked up, they did kind of gave enough info to figure out how it would end up being,

  2. DANNY says:

    Of course we nssd more! Season 2 a “MUST” !!!!!!!!

  3. I want at least one more season!!!!!

  4. beth says:

    Love this show!

  5. elaine says:

    PLEASE BRING THIS SHOW BACK – I REALLY LIKED IT

  6. Holly Fingerle says:

    Love this show- took me awhile to watch episodes on DVR but cannot wait for new ones and hope there is a second season!!!! Great TV!

  7. d mastalski says:

    Great new show. Hope it returns. Sigourney Weaver is great as always.

  8. Nicole Immediato says:

    Please bring it back for another season, or two, or three. There’s no a show like it and the acting is absolutely incredible. Great show!!!!!

  9. Thomas Schumacher says:

    I was addicted from the beginning. Justly so, the first episode was prone to catering to an ADD audience. It settled down and the last episode was riviting. The case is very strong. I’ll be a fan like I am loyal to NCIS (reruns and all).

  10. Lynda Costagliola says:

    Great show! Awesome actors! Definitely bring it back! Intelligent, adult conversations!

  11. Nan r says:

    Yes definitely! Bring it back! Best show on tv

  12. Marcia p says:

    Yes, bring it back next year! I’m tired of all the re-runs (L&O, NCIS). USA channel needs this show…….something different!

  13. Jeff says:

    Watch all episodes . . . DirectTV on Demand . . . Great show!!

  14. Heather says:

    Love this show, now addicted. Please bring it back! It’s excellent . . . Sigourney Weaver, it TV doesn’t get much better than that! Some really great actors.

  15. Carolyn Tanner says:

    The best political drama yet. A must to continue. All the characters are unique and need more room to grow.

  16. Russ Johnson says:

    Please renew this show. We love it.

  17. Jessica says:

    Amazing show!! What do the fans need to say or do to convince the network to make a second season?

  18. p. Guderian says:

    Absolutely, Bring political animals back-soon!!!

  19. Trish Cox says:

    Love the show! Best in years!

  20. Michael says:

    I really love this show- great cast and script. Hope they make more.

  21. Katherine Campbell says:

    Can’t get enough of this show. :)

  22. m. fairbanks says:

    I do hope they keep this going! Only thing on tv worth watching unless you want to watch the same old CSI/NCSI stuff over and over (which we do lol)

  23. Sandy says:

    I didn’t find this series until its second week and now I’m addicted. One season was NOT enough! It is absolutely fabulous: one of the very best acted, written and directed shows on television!!! Lose the dumb reality shows and put grand productions like this back on the airways. Shows like this will make USA eclipse the big four networks!!

    • BJD says:

      I’m with you on getting rid of all the crappy so-called “reality” shows. They’re BEYOND dreadful! Will not watch them. This show, however, is television at its best!

  24. Jeff says:

    USA NETWORK: PLEASE RENEW FOR SEASON TWO. This show is awesome. The characters have so much more potential. I want to see Bud punch the VP again. AWESOME TV. JUST AWESOME!!

  25. Denise says:

    Please, please, please renew this show! It’s the best show on tv these days.

  26. Sandi Adams says:

    Loved this premier. The finale was a shocker. I hope it returns, there is so much potential for a great American story. The VP as president is scary and the personal lives of politicians is interesting.

  27. Karen says:

    Keep this great show!! Its so refreshing to see such good show with great talent. The cast couldn’t be better! Please ok season two!!!

  28. DeeDee says:

    I love the show and would really like to see it continue!!!

  29. B. santini says:

    Great show…great cast….fast moving….please bring back! Sant

  30. mike willard says:

    Well, USA screwed the pooch with IPS, so it wouldn’t surprise me if they do the same thing with political animals. I love both shows. I really hope they do a second third and fourth season of political animals. the cast is a good fit and its got the same energy as the West Wing did.

  31. Robert Palmer says:

    This is the modern American Downton Abbey. Cast, production values…it’s all good excepting perhaps the summer start/time slots. The fuse is lit; it just hasn’t reached the motherload. Someone will see the potential, whether or not it’s USA.

  32. BJD says:

    THIS SHOW IS ABSOLUTELY SUPERB!!!!

  33. kapers says:

    Love this show! This is the first program I’ve watched and TIVOed on USA. It promped me to take a look at other USA programming such as Burn Notice which is very good!

    • jazzhound says:

      Kapers, Political Animals is also the first show on USA that I’ve ever recorded and watched faithfully. It’s absolutely superb television and USA should not even think twice in bringing it back for a full season run! I’ve definitely got my eye on USA channel right now, but a crazy decision on their part not to renew Political Animals would put me back to square one, not watching the Network anymore…We want more Animals!

  34. Andi Marcus says:

    One of the best shows that my husband and I have watched in a long time. It was addicting.

  35. Linda G. says:

    Well worth watching. Quality above the normal tv fare. Please bring back.

  36. Austin Coulter says:

    LOVE THIS SHOW

  37. Tony says:

    It really is entertaining and even though most of it is predictable, the season 1 ending did change that, at least temporarily. Nice mix of Clinton/Kennedy families. Hope it does come back for a 2nd season.

  38. elo says:

    I loved the show, but they need to tone down the homosexual acts and the bad language. We really don’t need to see either one.

  39. flpic says:

    I looked forward to each episode. Sigourney Weaver is so believable and the rest of the ensemble cast is engaging and three-dimensional. The story line is interesting and I am anxious to see what happens next! Please keep the series going for several seasons!

  40. flpic says:

    By the way, I liked the gay character(s) and found that to be not only topical, but human. I do hope that soon, there are gay characters who are not seriously disfunctional, but rather, just people like everyone else. The language wasn’t an issue for me, as it was on tv after 10 pm.

  41. Nate says:

    This is the best show on TV. I save it on the DVR and re-watch the entire previous weeks episode prior to the current week. There’s got to be a Season 2!!!

  42. This really is a great show. Knowing from the beginning that it was a ‘limited season’ was a little bit of a deterrent. As many shows I start to really appreciate, in the end, they are cancelled. I truly hope that the USA network deems there is enough with the show and the cast to keep it for at least a second season. I watch nearly all of the shows on USA and am enthralled when they keep coming back. Since I would not classify myself anywhere near a ‘political animal,’ I feel it is worth mentioning that show has opened my eyes more to the political arena in that there is so much the American people do not know in regards to ‘behind the scenes.’ Another reason why I am not a fan of talking politics, especially with family and close friends; it can change your relationships. With our presidential election approaching, I wish I knew more about the final outcome of what our country has in store for us. So, sometimes, it is just nice to have a great TV show to turn to, whether you want to think about politics or just enjoy a great cast and storyline.

  43. J Ramsey says:

    Fabulous show; remarkable acting and suspenseful plot, never can wait for the next episode! All our friends agree…best on TV. Please bring it back.

  44. Misha Maximova says:

    Please, please bring this intelligent, riveting show back for seven seasons and a movie!!! It almost removes the stench of ridiculous reality TV. Thanks!!

  45. I really enjoyed all of the performances, especially Burstyn & Weaver. I sure hope USA renews this smart, soapy drama

  46. Anoletta says:

    Yes, please! Sure, Ciaran Hinds is over the top. That’s what makes him so delicious. He also really let the humanity of Bud come through in the last 3 episodes. Love the writing and the surprises, and the cast is first-rate. MORE PLEASE!

  47. Maroa says:

    Love the show! Bring it back for season 2 please!!!!!

  48. Bob says:

    Yea! Love it. More seasons and more episodes!

  49. John Morris says:

    We love the show and would be very disappointed if it was not picked up. Politicians with integrity, and reporters with the same is a story line that is all too close to fantasy these days, but returns us to a more nostalgic time when integrity mattered more. Please bring it back!

  50. Donna Warmack says:

    I love the show ! Cant wait for it to be permanent ,, great actors and characters !!

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