It was a bittersweet holiday season for "Leverage" fans. This past Christmas marked the show's finale; TNT decided not to renew the show for a sixth season. Thankfully, fans got some closure, as executive producer Dean Devlin revealed in a letter to the show's loyal fanbase. The letter read, in part, as follows:
"John Rogers and I decided to end this season with the episode we had planned to make to end the series, way back when we shot the pilot. So, the episode that will air on Christmas is, in fact, the series finale we had always envisioned…we felt that, creatively, after 77 episodes, we owed it to you, our fans, to end the show properly."
"Leverage" lost about a million viewers in the ratings after switching to a new night, when the series returned from a two-month hiatus.
So what's a devastated "Leverage" fan to do? While Nate Ford and his gang of con artists may be gone for good, there are plenty of similar shows that "Leverage" fans ought to check out. If you're a "Leverage" fan who's bummed out about cancellation, these other excellent shows may just soothe the burn.
This British series will appeal to "Leverage" fans for several reasons. For one thing, the series stars brunette bombshell Jamie Murray as sexy grifter Stacie Monroe (mirroring Gina Bellman in the role of Sophie on "Leverage.") Secondly, the series ran for eight seasons, giving sad "Leverage" fans plenty of episodes to drown their sorrows with. Finally, "Hustle" is all about the "long con," meaning that each episode is filled with plenty of twists, turns, and drama.
The UK version of "Shameless" is also great, but the current critical buzz is all directed toward the U.S. adaptation airing now on Showtime. The series recently started its third season, and the cast includes Emmy Rossum and William H. Macy. The focus of the series is the Gallagher clan, an impoverished family trying to make ends meet in Chicago. While they aren't con artists exactly, the Gallaghers often have to get sneaky to keep a roof over their heads. Past cons have included kidnapping a woman from a nursing home to stealing Social Security checks, stealing cars, and even faking deaths.
One thing fans loved about "Leverage" was its sense of humor. The USA series "Psych" is a comedy first and a crime procedural second. The main character, Shawn Spencer, is a con man of the highest order. He's spent the last six seasons pretending to be a psychic and conning his way into crime scenes to investigate murders. Like "Leverage," "Psych" features a great ensemble cast of enjoyable characters.