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Will Netflix or Amazon Prime pick up Shooter Season 4?

Posted by Jamie on November 21, 2018

Despite a lackluster series 3, Shooter still has fans and people still want to see a series 4 even if it isn’t on USA like the others. While there isn’t a Change.org petition out yet like has happened for other shows, there is still plenty of time. So how about other options? Will Netflix pick up Shooter? Would Amazon or Hulu?

At the time of writing, there is nobody willing to produce Shooter series 4. Apparently talks are still ongoing with Mark Wahlberg and Ryan Phillippe both talking to the industry to try to get more shows out of the once very popular series. So far, according to reports anyway, it’s a no go.

Shooter TV series

Shooter is an all-American TV series adapted from the novel series by Stephen Hunter. It was initially turned into a movie starring Mark Wahlberg who went on to produce the TV show. The series revolves around an ex-Marine sniper calls Bob Lee Swagger and the usual international shadowy organization filled with menacing figures and a few good snipers.

Series one of Shooter begins with Swagger’s former commanding officer asking him to scout a location where the US and Ukrainian presidents will make a public speech. The Ukrainian president is killed by a sniper and Swagger is implicated. Cue the cat and mouse game as authorities try to apprehend Swagger while he tries to clear his name.

He isn’t alone though. His long-suffering wife Julie Swagger supports him while Secret Service and FBI characters begin to support him in Nadine Memphis and eventually his old boss Isaac Johnson. The story is well-paced and well shot but isn’t anything we haven’t seen before.

Series two of Shooter begins in Germany at a reunion for Swagger’s old Marine unit. The unit are gradually being killed off and they think it had something to do with burning millions of dollars of drugs while in Afghanistan. Cue a much better cat and mouse game between Swagger and Chechen sniper Solotov.

Series two was faster-paced and more action than thriller but was well done. Solotov in particular was somewhat one-dimensional but played very well. The series apparently came to an abrupt end when Ryan Philippe injured himself off set.

Series three of Shooter is about Swagger’s father and his dealings in Vietnam. He joins a super-secret unit in the military that turned into the shadowy organization Swagger has been chasing all this time.

Series three is more believable than the other two series but much slower paced. There are a lot of moody looks and scenes of agonized self-reflection and the series doesn’t have anything like the energy of the previous two series. It had only thirteen episodes too.

Why did Shooter end?

Despite doing very well in the first two series, the abrupt end and clunky resolution of series two did not sit well with fans. Series three was a completely different tone and didn’t go down very well either. As someone who watched Shooter, it seemed the producers ran out of energy or money to finish it properly so did it as quickly and as cheaply as possible.

The dip in audience caused USA Network to can the series. That isn’t necessarily the end of it though as the network is still shopping around for buyers for it. So while it is the end for now, it may not be the end forever.

What are the chances of Netflix picking up Shooter?

Netflix has remained tight-lipped about any engagement with Shooter. So that doesn’t mean yes and doesn’t mean no. There are significant challenges with taking on a show like Shooter though.

Netflix has an excellent grip on global media. It is one of the few American companies that realizes there is a whole world out there that doesn’t think like we do. Shooter is about as American as it gets. Nobody else in the world would call a character Bob Lee. Nowhere else in the world would a sniper who kills people be venerated. Nowhere else in the world would the general public know the difference between a hollow point bullet and a full metal jacket.

Making Shooter accessible to an international audience is difficult. The show is shot and set predominantly in America except for a short stint to Germany and ‘Afghanistan’ which looked remarkably like America. It’s about someone for whom guns is a way of life. Again, something other countries just do not appreciate. It is based in Texas, with lots of Texan characters, Stetsons, cowboy boots, desert sand and guns. Again, something very difficult to take to an international audience.

That’s before we even mention the wider societal concerns we have about real-life shooters!

Netflix is an international company and one of the reasons for its success is the appreciation that while massively important, the American audience is only half the size of Europe or a third of the size of India or Asia. It may well be that the elements that made Shooter so successful in the US will ultimately limit its ability to be resurrected for a fourth series.

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