Is the Cinemax spy drama "Hunted" canceled? Well, that depends on what country you live in.
According to UK news reports, the BBC has chosen not to go further with the series, which didn't meet ratings expectations for the network.
But "Hunted" has more than one home, and Cinemax, the drama's US network and co-producer, still has plans for the Melissa George show. "Hunted" is midway through its first season, which was generally well-received on this side of the Atlantic.
"We are making plans with creator and executive producer Frank Spotnitz and star Melissa George to present a new chapter in the Sam Hunter mythology. We are very pleased with what 'Hunted' has done for Cinemax's brand and are very excited about what lies ahead," Kary Antholis, president of HBO miniseries and Cinemax programming, said in a statement released by Cinemax today.
I'm glad there's still life in "Hunted," for a few reasons: As I wrote in my review and in this piece, I think "Hunted" is a well-crafted espionage drama that manages to provide a lot of action and suspense as it also thoughtfully examines the implications of corporate espionage. It has a few flaws, sure, but overall it's a well-acted, atmospheric and worthwhile serialized drama -- and it's also a great showcase for excellent supporting performers such as Stephen Dillane and Patrick Malahide.
As it happens, I just recently finished catching up with the two seasons of "Strike Back" that aired on Cinemax in 2011 and 2012, and while that show is a much more straight-ahead action-adventure drama, it also has some interesting things to say about outsourced conflicts, damaged people and geopolitical dirty tricks. Smart yet escapist adventure that is unafraid of serialization is a very smart niche for Cinemax to fill, and I hope that "Hunted," which wraps up its debut season in a few weeks, remains part of it.
Based on the statement from the network, I'm hopeful that Sam has a future on alongside Section 20.
If you are watching "Hunted," or you're planning to catch up, return to this site after the season finale for an extensive interview with creator Frank Spotnitz that should answer many of the questions you might have. A non-spoilery section of my interview with Spotnitz is here, and a clip of "Game of Thrones" veteran Malahide in "Hunted" is on that post and below as well.
"Hunted" airs at 10 p.m. ET on Fridays on Cinemax.