Runaway hit Mr. Robot will live to hack another year, as USA Networks renew their commitment for another mind-bending loop. Viewership is still lower than the typical cable-centric show, but the production has wormed its way into the pop-culture memory.
Critics love the hacker drama which has picked up four Emmy nominations including a Best Drama nod, and fans praise the technical realism of the hacking sequences and exploits. Part of the appeal is that the character drama is accessible to non-elite viewers as well.
In a quote from Chris McCumber, President of Entertainment Networks for parent company NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment:
“We couldn’t be more proud of Mr. Robot, a series that has pushed boundaries, captured the cultural zeitgeist, and been honored as one of the best dramas on television. Midway through its second season, Mr. Robot continues to break new ground and open up new opportunities for the network.”
Why the delay, then, until the second half of season 2 for a renewal? It could be that they weren’t sure how viewers would react to creator Sam Esmail’s unique directorial style. While the acclaimed first season had rotating directors, the showrunner himself is directing the entire 12-episode second season for a cohesive tone. Experimental touches like reformatting the first quarter of episode 6 as a 1990s-era sitcom are a bigger gamble than most.