'Sweetbitter' Canceled at Starz (Exclusive)

Based on the novel by Stephanie Danler, the half-hour dramedy starred Ella Purnell and ran for two seasons.
Macall Polay/STARZ

The pre-holiday news dump has landed.

The half-hour dramedy Sweetbitter has been canceled after two seasons at Starz.  

The series, which wrapped its second season in mid-August, starred Ella Purnell and was based on the novel by Stephanie Danler.

While Sweetbitter was never a ratings breakout or a critical favorite, the cancellation comes as a bit of a surprise given that the show was produced by Starz's corporate parent Lionsgate.

Season one averaged 164,000 live-same-day viewers and had mixed reviews among critics, with a 35 percent rating among critics and 88 percent score among viewers on RottenTomatoes.com.

The premium cable network believed in the creative and increased Sweetbitter's season two order to 10 episodes (up from six), though the sophomore run wound up featuring only eight. Season two wrapped with a live-same-day average of 92,000 total viewers, down considerably year-over-year.

With the cancellation, Starz's scripted roster includes Outlander, Vida, American Gods, The Spanish Princess, P-Valley, Hightown, The Girlfriend Experience and the final season of Power and its spinoff, as well as new orders Dangerous Liaisons, Heels and Becoming Elizabeth, among others.

Ella Purnell, Tom Sturridge and Caitlin FitzGerald starred on Sweetbitter, with Stuart Zicherman (The Americans) serving as showrunner. Brad Pitt's Plan B executive produced the series, which landed at Starz following a multiple-network bidding war.