By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act December 30, 2013 at 8:56PM
Here's a first look, via a brief promo for the upcoming second season of DirecTV's first original series, the crime drama Rogue, which stars Thandie Newton.
DirecTV ordered a second season of the series over the summer, which surprised me, given that reviews for season 1 were generally terrible; but I guess they didn't affect the audience's decision to watch. Although I haven't come across any ratings figures for the first season (it's not clear that the premium service ever released any official numbers). They obviously were good enough for DirecTV to greenlight a season 2.
All we got was the following: “We are thrilled that our first venture into original programming resonated with our subscribers who enthusiastically tuned into Rogue each week,” said Chris Long, DirecTV’s SVP Entertainment and Production. “We look forward to bringing them another season of Rogue and the chance to experience the next chapter in Grace’s life.”
So, like I said, the show's ratings were enough for DirecTV brass to order another season.
A 10-episode second season went into production this past 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/release strategy for it, is why they didn't take a page out of Netflix's House Of Cards playbook, 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. In this age of binge-watching previous seasons of a show on Netflix, which has helped fuel new interest in veteran series, like Breaking Bad for example, I'm surprised that season 1 of Rogue, isn't available on any of the VOD services - like Netflix, Amazon, iTunes or Hulu.
It's not even on DVD yet; and I couldn't get any home video release info. So even if you wanted to pay to see it, and weren't a DirecTV customer, you won't be able to; at least not legally anyway. If anyone reading this knows something I don't know about the series' availability to non-DirecTV customers, please share.
Like I said, the reviews were mostly terrible. 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.
The 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 in the spring, earlier this year, and has long run its course.
Maybe season 1 will be made available to non-DirecTV customers before season 2 debuts.
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 new 16-second promo for the upcoming second season: