“Got it,” Covert Affairs lead Annie (Piper Perabo) said in the final seconds of the USA Network series’ recent fifth-season finale, indicating she had made a decision on the two offers she had at hand: Ryan McQuaid’s (Nic Bishop) marriage proposal and Joan’s (Kari Matchett) invitation for her to join her CIA task force. We might never find out what Annie’s decision was as USA has opted not to renew the globe-trotting spy drama for a sixth season.
This is a somewhat surprising development because, as part of USA’s recent shift in strategy away from original half-hour comedy series, focusing on the network’s core drama brand, there were indications it would renew most and possibly all of its pending series sans departing White Collar. All others — Suits, Royal Pains and Graceland — have been picked up, making Covert Affairs the only casualty among USA’s established series, joining freshman drama Rush, which was axed in early October when the network renewed fellow rookie Satisfaction.
Economics played a key role in the decision to end Covert Affairs. Unlike the case with Fox 21 TV Stuidios-produced White Collar the same time last year, ownership was not a factor as Covert Affairs is owned by USA. As is the case with older series, its production costs have gone up over the years. In addition to rising talent fees, the series also went bigger on locations, from the clunky green screen shots in the first couple seasons to filming around the world in recent years.
Covert Affairs Fan Gallery > Show > Season 5 > 516 “Gold Soundz”
Spoiler alert: The Covert Affairs season 5 finale, “Gold Soundz,” brought about big changes for Annie (Piper Perabo) and Auggie (Chris Gorham). After almost being killed, again, the latter decided he wants to leave the agency and travel the world with Natasha (Liane Balaban). If/when the show gets an order for a sixth season, would Auggie be in it? “Oh, he’ll be in it,” co-creator Matt Corman assures us. “It’s a slightly different dynamic for him at the outset. I think for now he’s trying this, trying something different. It’s interesting, he’s been so defined by his job. He has the CIA so dialed that for him, maybe more than any of our other characters, stepping out of that workplace is gonna be a real shift.”
TVLINE | Can you confirm the words Annie says right after the screen fades to black? “Got it”?
CHRIS ORD | Yes. She knows the answer. We’ll see, if we get another season, what those answers are.
TVLINE | Is she pondering Ryan’s marriage proposal?
MATT CORMAN | Yeah. She’s considering that. She’s considering whether to stay in the agency. She’s considering what to do about her heart, if anything. So she’s got a lot to think about.
On TV’s “Covert Affairs,” Piper Perabo plays a field agent with the CIA. And in real life, she’s traveling around the globe with the show, thanks to location shoots.
The series, which airs its fifth season finale on USA at 10 p.m. EST Thursday, has taken Perabo to Medellin, Colombia, Rome, Vienna, Copenhagen, Hong Kong, Paris, Istanbul and Buenos Aires.
In a recent interview, the Golden Globe-nominated actress said it was a conscious decision by the show’s cast and crew to use a tight budget to allow for filming in foreign locations.
“We had a real serious conversation about how do we create a model to film in almost an indie hand-held style that is mobile and small enough that we can take it foreign and afford to do it,” Perabo said. “And because Doug Liman is one of our executive producers and he loves that kind of filming … we started amassing this group of people that know how to get real skinny and tight.”
Translation: The actors and crew work with little to get the shots they need, where they need them.
“We don’t use lights when we’re foreign. We don’t have trailers. Everybody carries their own equipment. If you want water you carry it yourself. It’s so bare bones and we all pile in the same van and we all eat lunch together. It doesn’t look like a movie set and it’s required if you want to be able to go to these places. If you wanted to bring trailers and cranes and movie lights, you could never do it.”
People who see them often don’t even realize they’re filming. Perabo recalls shooting a chase scene that bystanders believed was real.
“(In the scene) a bad guy steals this folder that I have of top-secret paperwork and so I have to chase him through the streets of Venice. … Three men were sitting at outdoor tables. …You see them look and get up and start chasing the guy with the folder! They think I’m like some chick that got her bag stolen or something and he’s a pickpocket.”
Covert Affairs Fan Gallery > Show > Season 5 > 515 “Frontwards”