The Purge and Treadstone Cancelled By USA Network

USA Network has cancelled The Purge and Treadstone, two highly-visible series based on theatrical properties. Treadstone, a spinoff from The Bourne Identity, is the latest attempt by USA parent company NBC Universal to extend the life of that franchise. It was cancelled after only one season. The Purge, based on the Blumhouse horror franchise of the same name, made it through two seasons, with its season two finale airing back in December. The Purge had a big PR lead-up, including an elaborate storefront at Comic Con International in San Diego. Both shows are expensive to make, and had been considered bubble shows by observers.

Like the films, The Purge mostly takes place during a 12-hour period once a year in which all crime is legal -- although the TV format allowed the series to explore the wider world of The Purge in a different way than the movies. Treadstone was a spy thriller featuring the CIA Black Ops program Operation Treadstone, the same group responsible for the creation of Jason Bourne.

In late 2019, there were reports that a new Bourne movie was being developed that would explicitly tie to the events of Treadstone, although nothing has come from that since. The Purge is a little different -- since each installment follows a group of Americans impacted by the night's events, but rarely do we get to see any major status quo change to the world or laws, it is safe enough to assume that the TV series and movies coexist because neither group of characters has to interact with the other.

With the Peacock streaming service beginning soon, NBC Universal has a lot of new content coming to life in 2021 and beyond. The loss of two big-name shows might be less of a problem for USA if they are able to leverage their corporate relationship to get their hands on the broadcast rights to some original Peacock programming in the same way The CW recently signed on to air shows like Stargirl and Swamp Thing from DC Universe and Let Me Tell You A Story from CBS (Warner and CBS jointly own The CW).

Expect more news about USA's (and Peacock's) upcoming program schedule in the weeks to come; this month would ordinarily have hosted the upfronts presentations where networks made big announcements, debuted trailers, and presented schedules, but those have been delayed or significantly subdued given the production shutdown due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.