State of Affairs Ends on Eve of New Spy Odyssey’s Mission

TV3 is pulling its under-siege spy drama State of Affairs mid-season but it’s not clear if the show’s lousy ratings will dent the network’s enthusiasm for the like-minded American Odyssey.

State of Affairs’ last original episode screens 9.30 tonight. Even though there’s six more to go, TV3 couldn’t justify keeping it on when viewership was so low.

Ironically, it exits the schedule just as another Homeland-like thriller going to air in the US is poised to start here.

American Odyssey was among the 2015 highlights MediaWorks promoted last year at its new-season launch, and the series has been tentatively scheduled for a mid-week primetime slot.

But whether that will still occur could depend on how well the first few episodes rate on NBC.

TV3’s fondness for conspiracy dramas, from 24 to Homeland to Crisis to State of Affairs, hasn’t rewarded it in the ratings, with all of these series struggling to find a sizeable audience.

Early reviews for American Odyssey suggest it will suffer the same indifference.

Entertainment Weekly thought it “bland and soulless, with too many threads offering too little wallop” and Variety dismissed it as “strained, tired and devoid of nuance“.

Deadline said the Anna Friel vehicle was “derivative” and “overly complex” while The Hollywood Reporter argued the “ambitious miniseries gets bogged down in easy outs and convenient explanations”.

But other top critics recommended the series.

American Odyssey isn’t breaking new ground, exactly,” the New York Times acknowledged, but added: “This show still stands out. It’s faster paced, more sophisticated and unfolds like a movie. It also looks like one.”

The San Francisco Chronicle said it “crackles with action and suspense from the first moment” and The Washington Post rated it higher than Fortitude and Better Call Saul.

“With a Homeland-style mastery of momentum and a Traffic-esque multi-narrative premise, Odyssey passes the biggest test of all when it comes to trying out new TV shows in today’s glut of offerings: As soon as the first episode was over, I was eager to see more.”

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7 Responses to “State of Affairs Ends on Eve of New Spy Odyssey’s Mission”

  1. Hi Philip. Just wondering if you could find out whether or not Four has lost the rights to Survivor. Survivor: Worlds Apart started sceeening in the US on the 25th of February this year but there is no mention of Survivor on the Four website. Thanks, Mark.

  2. Your suspicions are correct, Mark — Four will no longer screen Survivor. The good news is it’s switching to TV3, so will be broadcast in HD. But there’s no word on when it will premiere. Chances are it will succeed Ice Road Truckers either at 7.30 Saturdays or 5.00 Sundays.

  3. Hey Phil, I see Survivor: Worlds Apart looks like it will take over The Block Fans vs Favs 5.00pm weeknights in a few weeks. Not a bad idea as most of us finish work then. Have you heard this too?

  4. No, I hadn’t. But it would have to be this time next month at the earliest, as Survivor airs weekly in the US — typically 14 eps a season — and before TV3 could strip it five evenings a week, the show would have to have largely completed its CBS run (which ends May 20). It also seems too few episodes to warrant stripping, unless TV3 plans to re-run earlier seasons in the same slot as well.

  5. While I quite enjoyed SoA, the big issues I felt there were some shortcomings. Nancy Heigl appears in the credits, which never bodes well for production. The story depth was not cohesive. That said, given that it was a short 13-week series, TV3 should’ve let it run.

  6. The good news for SoA fans it TV3 is letting it run — the rest of the series continues late-night Sundays, where same-week re-runs used to air.

  7. Despite what I’ve said about the story, I’m keen to see a second season (though I’m not holding my breath), as the first finished with not so much a cliff hanger but a ‘what the’ moment, along with more question than you’ve seen answers for.

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