Will Netflix or Amazon Prime Pick Up Shooter Season 4?
Despite a mixed reception for its third season, the USA Original series Shooter still has fans and people still want to see a fourth season. While a Change.org petition or call to action on social media has yet to help make any moves on the ground floor, there’s still plenty of time for the show to get picked up—especially as the show continues to gain a following online. So if USA isn’t interested in a fourth season of their original program, fans have been asking about the alternative: would Netflix or Hulu pick up Shooter? Would Amazon use some of their extra entertainment cash to get a fourth run of episodes about Ryan Philippe’s sniper?
As of July 2019, reports all point towards the negative on a new season following Bob Lee Swagger, with talks still ongoing around the industry. Let’s take a look at Shooter, whether it’s worth watching, and the chances it gets picked back up for air on Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime.
A Brand New Adaptation
Shooter is an American TV series adapted from the novel series by Stephen Hunter. It was initially turned into a movie starring Mark Wahlberg in 2007, who later went on to serve as executive producer on 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.
Season 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. Thankfully, he isn’t alone. 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.
A season later, we pick up in Germany at a reunion for Swagger’s old Marine unit. The unit are gradually being killed off and Swagger’s only lead leaves him to believe it has something to do with burning millions of dollars of drugs while in Afghanistan. Season two was faster-paced, offering action thrills that were new to USA. Solotov, the season’s overarching villain, in particular was somewhat one-dimensional but played very well. Unfortunately, the season was reduced to only eight episodes after Philippe injured himself off set.
Season 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. The third is more believable than the first two seasons, 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 outings. It did, however, have 13 episodes, making it the longest season to date.
Why did Shooter end?
Despite doing very well in the first two season, the abrupt end and clunky resolution of season 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 cancel the series. While the first season of the show was pulling a .5 ratings share almost every episode (a solid amount for a cable show in the summer) and season two saw only a small dip, season three saw a drop down to .2 for almost the entire season, leaving the show dead in the water. That isn’t necessarily the end of it though, as the production company is still shopping the show for potential buyers. 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 season.