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‘Mr. Robot’ Finale Postponed Because of Similarity to Live TV Killings

USA Network has postponed tonight’s scheduled season finale of hacker drama series “Mr. Robot” for a week because the episode includes a scene with similarities to the real-life murders that occurred on live TV this morning in Virginia.

“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,” USA said in a statement.

Early today, a reporter, Alison Parker, and cameraman, Adam Ward, for WDBJ-TV in Roanoke, Va., were shot and killed while delivering a live report for the station’s morning news program. The suspected killer is a former co-worker of the pair who posted video of the ambush on social media after fleeing the scene.

Mr. Robot” has emerged as a critical darling for USA this summer. The series revolves around an anti-social IT whiz who is drafted to work for an underground group of hackers focused on rooting out evil and corruption in corporate America. Rami Malek and Christian Slater star.

USA said the decision to postpone was made because the finale “contains a graphic scene similar in nature to today’s tragic events in Virginia.”

“Mr. Robot” is the first new USA series to have strong pop culture buzz in some time. The postponement is not likely to be too big of a blow to the show’s ratings momentum. It’s not clear if USA had any time-sensitive sponsorship deals tied to the finale.

USA said the finale will air Sept. 2 in the show’s regular 10 p.m. timeslot. USA will sub in a rerun of last week’s penultimate episode to fill the void tonight.

Numerous TV series over the years have had to delay or shelve episodes due to eerie similarities to real-life events. In recent years, NBC’s “Hannibal” yanked an episode in the wake of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing. Syfy’s “Haven” did the same after the horrific shootings in 2012 of 22 children in Newtown, Conn.

Sam Esmail is creator and showrunner of “Mr. Robot” for Universal Cable Prods. and Anonymous Content.

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