The critically acclaimed drama Mr. Robot was scheduled to air the finale of its first season tonight (Aug. 26) at 10pm EST on USA Network. But due to a similarity with today’s shooting in Virginia, in which two people were murdered and a third seriously injured on live TV, USA has decided to push the episode to next week.
“The previously filmed season finale of Mr. Robot contains a graphic scene similar in nature to today’s tragic events in Virginia,” the network said in a statement. “Out of respect to the victims, their families and colleagues, and our viewers, we are postponing tonight’s episode. Our thoughts go out to all those affected during this difficult time.”
The show follows a morphine-addicted, anxiety-inflicted engineer at a cybersecurity company in New York City who is recruited by a secretive group of hackers to take down the world’s largest corporation. Critics are nearly unanimous in praising actor Rami Malek’s central performance and the show’s unique, confident style.
The finale will now air on USA next Wednesday, Sept. 2, at the same time. Tonight, instead of the finale, USA will air an encore of last week’s episode.
Despite anticipation for tonight’s finale, most TV and entertainment writers took to Twitter to express support for USA’s decision.
It goes without saying that the well-being of the victims’ friends and families is infinitely more important than a television show, but USA now faces another decision: whether or not to edit the scene in question. The move is not entirely without precedent. As New Yorker TV critic Emily Nussbaum noted, TV shows have mirrored tragic real-life events before.
In Hannibal‘s case, the episode in question never aired.