TNT has handed out a third season renewal to serialised crime drama Murder In The First, TVWise has learned. The network did not specify the size of the order for season three, but TVWise understands it is for ten episodes, down slightly from the twelve episodes ordered for season two.
Created by Steven Bochco and Eric Lodal, Murder In The First is similar to Bochco’s 90s show Murder One as its follows one murder case across the whole season. The drama series is produced in-house by TNT Originals and stars, amongst others, Taye Diggs (The Good Wife) and Kathleen Robertson (Boss).
The third season pick up comes the better part of two months after Murder In The First wrapped its second season on the network. Despite OK ratings (season two averaged two million viewers), the show was very much on the bubble, due in large part to TNT’s mandate to re-brand as a home for edgier fare. Another factor was behind the scenes issues, which saw co-creator Eric Lodal exit the series part way through season two.
There had been talk of TNT waiting until all their pilots were delivered before deciding on a number of their current shows, but with cast options set to expire soon the network needed to make a decision. I hear that MITF is viewed by TNT brass as a “transitional” show, sitting sat somewhere between the procedural shows the network built its scripted brand on and the edgier fare they are moving towards. That and the decent ratings and big DVR/online audience was a big factor in the renewal decision. There is still no word on the fate of Major Crimes, which has yet to be renewed for season five.