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)

  • 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,

    Comment by goeze – August 20, 2012 10:31 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Of course we nssd more! Season 2 a “MUST” !!!!!!!!

    Comment by DANNY – August 20, 2012 10:34 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I want at least one more season!!!!!

    Comment by Bitemore Gfotwo – August 20, 2012 10:59 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Love this show!

    Comment by beth – August 20, 2012 11:22 AM PDT  Reply To This Post

    Comment by elaine – August 20, 2012 12:06 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • 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!

    Comment by Holly Fingerle – August 20, 2012 12:47 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Great new show. Hope it returns. Sigourney Weaver is great as always.

    Comment by d mastalski – August 20, 2012 01:39 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • 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!!!!!

    Comment by Nicole Immediato – August 20, 2012 02:35 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • 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).

    Comment by Thomas Schumacher – August 20, 2012 02:47 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Great show! Awesome actors! Definitely bring it back! Intelligent, adult conversations!

    Comment by Lynda Costagliola – August 20, 2012 03:38 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Yes definitely! Bring it back! Best show on tv

    Comment by Nan r – August 20, 2012 04:34 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Yes, bring it back next year! I’m tired of all the re-runs (L&O, NCIS). USA channel needs this show…….something different!

    Comment by Marcia p – August 20, 2012 04:41 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Watch all episodes . . . DirectTV on Demand . . . Great show!!

    Comment by Jeff – August 20, 2012 04:50 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • 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.

    Comment by Heather – August 20, 2012 04:55 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • The best political drama yet. A must to continue. All the characters are unique and need more room to grow.

    Comment by Carolyn Tanner – August 20, 2012 05:31 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Please renew this show. We love it.

    Comment by Russ Johnson – August 20, 2012 05:46 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Amazing show!! What do the fans need to say or do to convince the network to make a second season?

    Comment by Jessica – August 20, 2012 06:04 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Absolutely, Bring political animals back-soon!!!

    Comment by p. Guderian – August 20, 2012 06:51 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Love the show! Best in years!

    Comment by Trish Cox – August 20, 2012 07:17 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I really love this show- great cast and script. Hope they make more.

    Comment by Michael – August 20, 2012 08:56 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Can’t get enough of this show. :)

    Comment by Katherine Campbell – August 20, 2012 09:16 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • 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)

    Comment by m. fairbanks – August 20, 2012 09:28 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • 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!!

    Comment by Sandy – August 20, 2012 09:34 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • 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!

      Comment by BJD – August 21, 2012 09:32 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • 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!!

    Comment by Jeff – August 21, 2012 07:31 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Please, please, please renew this show! It’s the best show on tv these days.

    Comment by Denise – August 21, 2012 09:18 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • 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.

    Comment by Sandi Adams – August 21, 2012 09:33 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • 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!!!

    Comment by Karen – August 21, 2012 09:36 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I love the show and would really like to see it continue!!!

    Comment by DeeDee – August 21, 2012 12:48 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Great show…great cast….fast moving….please bring back! Sant

    Comment by B. santini – August 21, 2012 06:50 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • 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.

    Comment by mike willard – August 21, 2012 08:47 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • 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.

    Comment by Robert Palmer – August 21, 2012 09:12 PM PDT  Reply To This Post

    Comment by BJD – August 21, 2012 09:28 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • 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!

    Comment by kapers – August 21, 2012 09:46 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • 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!

      Comment by jazzhound – August 21, 2012 11:24 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • One of the best shows that my husband and I have watched in a long time. It was addicting.

    Comment by Andi Marcus – August 22, 2012 06:16 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Well worth watching. Quality above the normal tv fare. Please bring back.

    Comment by Linda G. – August 22, 2012 10:14 AM PDT  Reply To This Post

    Comment by Austin Coulter – August 22, 2012 03:17 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • 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.

    Comment by Tony – August 22, 2012 06:12 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • 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.

    Comment by elo – August 23, 2012 11:15 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • 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!

    Comment by flpic – August 23, 2012 04:28 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • 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.

    Comment by flpic – August 23, 2012 04:31 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • 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!!!

    Comment by Nate – August 23, 2012 07:44 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • 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.

    Comment by Rhonda Sendlbeck – August 25, 2012 12:19 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • 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.

    Comment by J Ramsey – August 25, 2012 09:12 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Please, please bring this intelligent, riveting show back for seven seasons and a movie!!! It almost removes the stench of ridiculous reality TV. Thanks!!

    Comment by Misha Maximova – August 26, 2012 09:15 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I really enjoyed all of the performances, especially Burstyn & Weaver. I sure hope USA renews this smart, soapy drama

    Comment by Lawrence Gordon – August 26, 2012 06:20 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • 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!

    Comment by Anoletta – August 26, 2012 06:22 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Love the show! Bring it back for season 2 please!!!!!

    Comment by Maroa – August 26, 2012 07:52 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Yea! Love it. More seasons and more episodes!

    Comment by Bob – August 27, 2012 09:24 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • 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!

    Comment by John Morris – August 27, 2012 11:40 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I love the show ! Cant wait for it to be permanent ,, great actors and characters !!

    Comment by Donna Warmack – August 28, 2012 07:59 AM PDT  Reply To This Post

Leave a Reply

Comments on TVLine.com are monitored. So don't go off topic, don't frakkin' curse, and be gone with your offers of discount leather goods. Talk smart about TV!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s