Wednesday, February 8, 2012
More moves ahead for Hulu hit Endgame?
Endgame, starring Shawn Doyle (right) as a Russian chess grand master-turned Vancouver detective, has been out of production for about a year. Low ratings were cited for the cancellation by Showcase. The sets have long been struck and options on the actor's contracts have run out.
TV Feeds My Family has learned, however, that renewed interest in the show after a recent launch on the U.S.-based Internet streaming service Hulu has the producers seriously contemplating resurrecting the series.
Endgame was one of the shows flashed on giant screens at Hulu's Television Critics Association press tour panel last month in Pasadena, Ca. Word is that the series ranked in the Top-10 of all shows streamed at Hulu after it premiered.
Hulu, a service that is geo-blocked from Canadian screens, offers thousands of TV shows from Fox, NBC, CBS and many other broadcasters. It would be ironic if a service Canadians can't access winds up saving a Canadian series.
According to the source, if the series continues to trend on Hulu, a second season will be ordered. Credit was also extended to a persistent Save Endgame fan campaign which has collected thousands of signatures on Facebook and other social media sites.
The main star, Doyle, TV Feeds My Family has also learned, sat out the recent pilot season in the U.S. after a deal was reached to keep him under contract should Endgame resurface. The Newfoundland native has not been prevented from guesting on other shows; tonight he makes a return appearance as a baddie on CBC's Republic of Doyle.
No such deal, however, holds other Endgame players such as Patrick Gallagher, who played the head of hotel security always trying to heave Doyle's mad Russian character Arkady Balagan the hell out of the premises. The series may have to be extensively re-cast should it return.
The series was produced in Vancouver and featured an elaborate hotel set. Those sets are long gone, but blueprints remain and everything could be rebuilt, we are told.
The main priority for the producers is securing the participation of showrunner and executive producer Avrum Jacobson. Source says that is in the works. The plan would be to make new episodes for Hulu as well as for Showcase.
Conventional wisdom was that Endgame lagged behind another Showcase series that was renewed last spring, King. But when ratings are examined beyond overnights to Live+3 and Live+7 data, it seems many viewers were PVRing Endgame and watching it later. One week the series jumped from 232,000 overnight, estimated viewers to 310,000 after the PVR audience was factored in.
Endgame also beat King head-to-head in A25-54 more often then not when the two shows aired in the same week.
The series is produced by Vancouver-based Thunderbird Films and sold internationally by Lions Gate. Both seem keen to ramp things back up again, according to sources. Your move, Hulu.