When Dare Me landed on the USA Network at the end of 2019, it seemed like one of their stereotypical scripted series that would run for years, not unlike Suits or Burn Notice. But the series got an unexpected bump in 2020 when Netflix scooped up the streaming rights, turning this drama of competitive high school cheerleaders into a TV series competitive for fans’ hearts. So will there be a Dare Me Season 2? Unfortunately, the hoped-for Netflix bump has come too late, as USA already decided a Season 2 wasn’t in the cards.
Based on the 2012 mystery novel by Megan Abbott, Dare Me was initially put into production back in January of 2019 and premiered at the end of that same year. The series starred Willa Fitzgerald as Coach Colette French, with Herizen Guardiola as cheerleader Addy, and Marlo Kelly as Beth, the captain of the cheer squad and Addy’s emotionally abusive BFF. The first season loosely followed the book’s plot, with Coach French favoring Addy and demoting Beth, setting up a terrifying rivalry.
The season ended on a heck of a cliffhanger too. Like the novel, Dare Me turned into a murder mystery, where military recruiter Will Mosley (Zach Roerig) turns up dead of a gunshot wound, and no one will admit what happened. The finale ended with hints that Colette and her husband Matt were on the crime scene and could be at least partly responsible. But what exactly Couch French is hiding is unclear.
The series was a co-production between USA and Netflix, which meant that after the first season ended its run on cable, all 10 episodes were shipped directly to the streamer. It also means that the show is a Netflix exclusive everywhere overseas. In many cases, that can make up for poor performance since the streamer is bearing half the show’s cost. But the ratings on USA weren’t great, and the cable channel was already steadily moving to more reality-based fare. Even with the cliffhanger, the series was canceled.
TVLine initially reported Netflix wasn’t ready to give up on the series. If the USA Network wasn’t interested, they’d find a new co-producer. But that was back in April of 2020. So far, there’s been no news of any takers. That doesn’t mean Netflix might not decide to pick it up themselves, should the series continue its rise in the streaming rankings. But as of now, fans may never know who killed Will.
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