Veronica Mars/Season Three
Season Three (2006–2007) of Veronica Mars is the final season of the series and the first and only season of the show shown on The CW, a new network formed from the merger of UPN and The WB during the off-season. The season follows Veronica Mars (Kristen Bell), accompanied by her best friends Wallace (Percy Daggs III) and Mac (Tina Majorino), during their freshman year at Hearst College.
Due to low ratings of the second season, the third season's renewal was contingent on altering the previous seasons' serialized season-long mysteries into three smaller, self-contained mysteries in an effort to bolster viewership. The first half of the season is therefore separated into two arcs with Veronica investigating a campus serial rapist and later a campus murder. Both mystery arcs aired without interruption by repeats but were separated by a brief hiatus. The final five episodes of the show do not contain an overarching mystery.
Having turned down Stanford, Veronica joins Wallace, Mac, Logan, and Dick as freshmen at Hearst College. On campus, Mac's new roommate, Parker, becomes the latest victim of Hearst's serial rapist, first introduced in the second season's "The Rapes of Graff." Her past experience prompts Veronica to help Parker catch the rapist. The following mystery involves the murder of a prominent figure on campus.
The third season featured ten billed actors, including two recurring characters that were upgraded to series regulars and two new characters. Three previously billed series regulars did not return for the third season: Duncan Kane (Teddy Dunn), who left the country midway through the second season, Jackie Cook (Tessa Thompson), who returned to New York following her year at Neptune, and Cassidy Casablancas (Kyle Gallner), who committed suicide in the season two finale after Veronica confronted him about the murders.
- Kristen Bell as Veronica Mars, titular protagonist and freshman at Hearst College. (20 episodes)
- Jason Dohring as Logan Echolls, former love interest of Veronica. (20 episodes)
- Ryan Hansen as Dick Casablancas, Logan's friend. (14 episodes)
- Percy Daggs III as Wallace Fennel, one of Veronica's best friends. (15 episodes)
- Francis Capra as Eli "Weevil" Navarro, former leader of the local PCH biker gang and ally of Veronica. (10 episodes)
- Enrico Colantoni as Keith Mars, Veronica's father. (20 episodes)
- Tina Majorino as Cindy "Mac" Mackenzie, one of Veronica's best friends. (11 episodes)
- Michael Muhney as Sheriff Don Lamb. (8 episodes)
- Julie Gonzalo as Parker Lee, Mac's roommate. (11 episodes)
- Chris Lowell as Stosh "Piz" Piznarski, Wallace's roommate. (11 episodes)
Supporting and Recurring Cast
- David Tom as Chip Diller, president of Pi Sigma Sigma.
- James Jordan as Tim Foyle, a teacher's assistant for Professor Landry.
- Ryan Devlin as Mercer Hayes, Logan's friend.
- Patrick Fabian as Hank Landry, Veronica's Criminology professor.
- Ed Begley, Jr. as Dean Cyrus O'Dell.
- Brandon Hillock as Deputy Jerry Sacks.
- Jamie Ray Newman as Mindy O'Dell.
- Daran Norris as Cliff McCormack.
- Amanda Noret as Madison Sinclair.
- Ken Marino as Vinnie Van Lowe.
- Max Greenfield as Deputy Leo D'Amato.
The third season's renewal was not announced until late in the renewal process and was contingent on making the episodes more viewer-friendly by reducing the serialized elements of the previous two seasons. The CW originally decided to order 13 episodes of the show, with the option to order more depending on how the show fared in the Nielsen ratings. On November 16, 2006, The CW renewed the series for a non-traditional 20 episode season.
Series creator and executive producer Rob Thomas directed and wrote the first mystery arc finale and wrote two further episodes: the season premiere and series finale. Additional writers for the third season were Diane Ruggiero, Phil Klemmer, John Enbom, Jason Elen, Jonathan Moskin, David Mulei, Robert Hull, and Joe Voci. Additional directors for the third season were John Kretchmer, Harry Winer, Jason Bloom, Nick Marck, Michael Fields, Steve Gomer, Tricia Brock, Michael Fields, Dan Etheridge, and Jason Bloom.
|45||1||Welcome Wagon||Rob Thomas||John Kretchmer||October 3, 2006||3.36||1.4|
|46||2||My Big Fat Greek Rush Week||Diane Ruggiero||John Kretchmer||October 10, 2006||2.96||1.3|
|47||3||Witchita Linebacker||Phil Klemmer & John Enbom||Harry Winer||October 17, 2006||3.12||1.4|
|48||4||Charlie Don't Surf||Diane Ruggiero & Jason Elen||Jason Bloom||October 24, 2006||3.33||1.4|
|49||5||President Evil||Jonathan Moskin & David Mulei||Nick Marck||October 31, 2006||2.70||1.2|
|50||6||Hi, Infidelity||John Enbom||Michael Fields||November 7, 2006||2.75||1.3|
|51||7||Of Vice and Men||Phil Klemmer||Harry Winer||November 14, 2006||2.69||1.2|
|52||8||Lord of the Pi's||Diane Ruggiero||Steve Gomer||November 21, 2006||2.57||1.2|
|53||9||Spit & Eggs||Rob Thomas||Rob Thomas||November 28, 2006||3.44||1.6|
|54||10||Show Me the Monkey|| John Enbom (Story)
John Enbom & Robert Hull (Teleplay)
|Nick Marck||January 23, 2007||3.23||1.5|
|55||11||Poughkeepsie, Tramps and Thieves||Diane Ruggiero||John Kretchmer||January 30, 2007||2.69||1.2|
|56||12||There's Got to Be a Morning After Pill|| Jonathan Moskin & David Mulei (Story)
Jonathan Moskin & Phil Klemmer & John Enbom (Teleplay)
|Tricia Brock||February 6, 2007||2.40||1.0|
|57||13||Postgame Mortem||Joe Voci||John Kretchmer||February 13, 2007||2.37||1.0|
|58||14||Mars, Bars|| Phil Klemmer & John Enbom & Joe Voci (Story)
Phil Klemmer & John Enbom (Teleplay)
|Harry Winer||February 20, 2007||2.27||0.9|
|59||15||Papa's Cabin||John Enbom||Michael Fields||February 27, 2007||2.66||1.1|
|60||16||Un-American Graffiti||Robert Hull||John Kretchmer||May 1, 2007||2.35||1.0|
|61||17||Debasement Tapes||John Enbom||Dan Etheridge||May 8, 2007||1.85||0.9|
|62||18||I Know What You'll Do Next Summer||Jonathan Moskin & David Mulei||Nick Marck||May 15, 2007||2.10||0.9|
|63||19||Weevils Wobble But They Don't Go Down||Phil Klemmer||Jason Bloom||May 22, 2007||1.78||0.7|
|64||20||The Bitch Is Back||Rob Thomas & Diane Ruggiero||Michael Fields||May 22, 2007||2.15||0.9|
In the United States, the third season aired on Tuesdays at 9pm following Gilmore Girls for the entire duration, a show that focus groups found best fit the thematic elements of Veronica Mars. The season was simulcast by Fox 44 in Canada after CTV and Sun TV opted out of airing rights of the third season. Living in the United Kingdom and Network Ten in Australia aired the season on a delay. New Zealand's TV2 aired the third season.
The third season was released in Region 1 on October 23, 2007. A Region 2 release followed on December 12, 2008 and Region 4 on February 11, 2009. It contained unaired scenes with introductions by Rob Thomas, a gag reel, and several featurettes, including a pitch reel for season 4 which was set several years after the events of season 3 and features Veronica as an FBI agent.
After the third season premiere ("Welcome Wagon") increased over the ratings of the second season finale ("Not Pictured"), ratings remained stable for the first ten episodes, with "Spit & Eggs" becoming the second-highest rated episode of the entire series. However, viewers gradually decreased after the hiatus. The third season averaged 2.5 million viewers and a 1.2 18-49 demo, ranking it 138th out of 142 shows on basic television that year.
The first arc, centered on the Hearst College rapist, averaged 2.99 million viewers and a 1.3 demo. The second arc involving the campus murder averaged 2.60 million viewers and a 1.1 demo.