‘Murder In The First’ Renewed To Everyone’s Surprise, While Other TNT Shows Get The Axe

Murder in the First has been renewed for Season 3, as announced by TNT on Thursday, November 13. The crime drama, created by Steven Bochco and Eric Lodal and starring Taye Diggs and Kathleen Robertson as San Francisco homicide detectives, will return with the third season in 2016, as reported by Deadline.

Murder in the First averaged a mediocre two million viewers throughout its second season, which ended with an edgy finale on August 24. The crime drama marked a departure from TNT’s usual series pattern, as it develops one case throughout an entire season.

Murder in the First joins Rizzoli and Isles and The Last Ship, both of which were renewed by the cable network for 2016, while Proof, a supernatural fiction drama starring Jennifer Beals, Matthew Modine, and Joe Morton, was recently cancelled after only one season on air.

Meanwhile, fans of Major Crimes are still waiting for TNT’s announcement about the future of the show’s fifth season even though its current fourth season has recently been extended to twenty-three episodes, which means the series will run through spring 2016. The cable network’s other series include: Legends, Public Morals, Agent X and the upcoming Alienist.

Murder in the First averaged two million viewers, which is fairly good for a cable network, while showing a 0.3 18-49 demo rating during Season 2, with its season finale on August 24 gathering 1.8 million viewers, as reported by TV Line.

The show’s second season average was down from a 0.45 rating and 2.84 million viewers for the first season. Critics considered Murder in the First to be among the shows that are about to be cancelled, but TNT and TBS boss Kevin Reilly both seem to be giving it a second chance despite behind the scenes issues involving the exit of co-creator Eric Lodal halfway through the second season in March.

Season 3 is expected to ordered for ten episodes, which is down from the twelve episodes contained in the second season. Murder in the First also stars Anthony Dale, Mimi Kirkland, Lombardo Boyer, Ian Raphael Sbarge, Currie Graham, Laila Robins, Emmanuelle Chriqu and A.J. Buckley.

It was reported in March this year that the Murder in the First executive producer left the crime drama series, which he co-created with Steven Bochco for one and a half seasons. The news came midway through production on the crime drama’s second season.

Bochco now continues as the sole executive producer and showrunner of Murder in the First. In a statement to Deadline, a TNT spokesperson downplayed the shocking departure.

“We thank Eric for his good work and wish him well in his future endeavors.”

The cable network did not give any information about the circumstances surrounding Lodal’s departure. According to Deadline‘s source familiar with the show’s behind the scenes happenings, there were differences in the staff of Murder in the First as well as some issues with production deadlines.

There had been speculation that TNT was waiting until all of its pilots aired before deciding on the future of a number of the cable network’s current series, as reported by TV Wise. But, the fact that cast options were set to expire soon prompted TNT to make a decision now.

TV Wise reported that TNT bosses viewed Murder in the First as a “transitional” show, being somewhere between the procedural shows the cable network built its scripted brand on and the more edgy kind of plots they aim to provide. The fact that the second season was edgier than the first one, plus its decent ratings and large DVR/online audience urged TNT bosses to renew the series.

[Photo by Frazer Harrison, Ben Gabbe/Getty Images]