The small-screen version of The Purge has come to an end. The USA Network has canceled the adaptation of the slasher film franchise after two seasons, Variety reported on Wednesday. It's the second TV spinoff USA Network has canceled, which also axed the Bourne-adjacent Treadstone.
The Purge premiered back in 2018 and was based on the film franchise of the same name. It took place in America's near-future, which had been taken over by a right-wing organization branding themselves as "The New Founding Fathers." After taking power, they opted to legalize all crimes for one 12-hour period a year, officially referred to as The Purge. Along with the series, which followed the same premise, the film inspired three sequels. A fourth, titled The Forever Purge, was announced back in October of 2018.
The original film also found itself causing a stir online after fans noticed a detail in the first film stating it took place during March 21, 2020. Which was, of course, the right around the time that the global pandemic began to disrupt much of day-to-day life. It was just a coincidence, though certainly an unnerving one.
News of the cancellation comes as the cable network has been shifting to more unscripted programming of late, as it also recently canceled Dare Me after only one season. Instead, they seem to be enjoying success with Temptation Island and the latest iteration of The Biggest Loser (not to mention WWE's Monday Night Raw).
The network, like other streamers and studios, is also going to have to get creative, as there's still a widespread production shutdown in place to help slow the spread of coronavirus. This strategy includes airing the second season of Dirty John after the first aired on another NBCUniversal network, Bravo. Other modifications have included ABC's Grey's Anatomy, which shorted its most recent season. Others, like NBC's The Blacklist, filled in the gaps of its season finale by animating certain sequences, which went over well with some viewers, but not all of them.
While it's still unclear exactly when production will be safe to resume on a widespread basis, which will make for a pretty sparse fall TV season, others are already planning ahead. Both ABC's The Conners and Fox's Last Man Standing, for example, are looking at ways they might address the current pandemic in their upcoming seasons.