By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act June 11, 2013 at 1:58PM
This is actually a surprise! I didn't see it coming. Reviews for it were generally terrible, but I guess they didn't affect the audience's decision to watch.
DirecTV has ordered a second season of its first original series, the crime drama Rogue, which stars Thandie Newton.
A 10-episode second season will go into production this summer for a 2014 debut.
None of us here at S&A are DirecTV customers, so we haven't seen a single episode of the series' first season.
What I don't understand about DirecTV's marketing strategy for it, is why they didn't take a page out of Netflix's House Of Cards release plan, which I think would've drawn more attention to the series, and maybe encouraged more new subscriptions to DirecTV. What Netflix did with House Of Cards was that they released episode 1 of the series online for FREE, for one month, so even if you didn't have a Netflix account, you could still go to their website and watch episode 1 without having to sign up for the service.
DirecTV should maybe have considered a similar strategy. I can't say whether the move benefited Netflix in any way (they haven't really shared much about the impact of the series on their bottomline yet), but if part of DirecTV's intent is to attract new subscribers, by launching its very first own scripted original series, then why not take that chance?
As it stands, only DirecTV customers have seen the series, and, while I can't speak for others, based on what I've seen of it thus far (trailers, extended previews, the various clips of Thandie nude in various raunchy sex scenes, that have found their way onto the web, etc), just hasn't been enough of a draw for me to want to sign up for DirecTV just to watch it.
I like Thandie Newton in most things I've seen her in, but there just wasn't enough in what I saw to really entice me. But maybe if I watched one full episode, I might want to see the rest.
Or maybe not. Signing up for DirecTV is a lot more involved and more expensive than a Netflix streaming account.
You can watch episode one of the series online, on DirecTV's website, but, again, you still have to be a DirecTV subscriber to do so.
Like I said, the reviews haven't been great either, which certainly doesn't help matters. Here's a sample:
From the Los Angeles Times:
DirecTV's 'Rogue' is a wreck of a crime drama... Overwrought execution and overextended characters, including Thandie Newton's grim-faced cop, deal the Audience Network drama a death blow.
From The Hollywood Reporter:
In DirecTV's first drama, Thandie Newton comes across more escaped supermodel than undercover cop as she chases implausible Caucasian gangs in Oakland... Ultimately what happens, as Rogue can’t find traction in its story, is that you realize nobody has the necessary magnetism to force a rooting interest. It’s not like Newton is a badass detective.
“Rogue” is an unfortunately distinctive name for such a me-too crime series — one that mistakes nudity, violence and profanity for edge and daring. DirecTV has cut its teeth with shrewd acquisitions — including the final season of “Damages” and “Hit & Miss” — but this original effort to play in the pay-cable game skews toward the ho-hum, guy-oriented offerings on Cinemax, without quite the unabashed sleaze factor.
I would also think that DirecTV may want to make the series available on VOD - like on Amazon.com's service, or iTunes - since the first season is now over. I'd consider paying the $2.99 each for the first 2 or 3 episodes, just so I could check it out myself, considering that I'm not a DirecTV subscriber.
The cop drama series sees Newton starring as an undercover cop, who, in a personal vendetta, comes face to face with a high-profile gangster, after her son is killed in a drive-by shooting.
The series debuted on April 3 and has run its first season course.
In addition to Newton, the cast includes Marton Csokas, Ian Hart, Claudia Ferri, Joshua Sasse, Jonathan Holmes, Sarah Jeffrey, Ian Tracey, Jarod Joseph, Matthew Beard, and Martin Donovan.
If you're a DirecTV customer, did you watch the entire first season, and if you did, your thoughts?
Here's the 10-minute extended preview previously posted: