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The premium cable outlet has canceled Misha Green’s horror series, opting to not renew the drama that was originally intended as a limited series for a second season. The show had earned largely positive reviews for its first run and has been a solid ratings performer, drawing numbers comparable to those of Watchmen in fall 2019.
“We will not be moving forward with a second season of Lovecraft Country. We are grateful for the dedication and artistry of the gifted cast and crew, and to Misha Green, who crafted this groundbreaking series. And to the fans, thank you for joining us on this journey,” HBO said in a statement Friday.
Limited series that break out push networks and streamers to revisit the original idea for a closed-ended run. HBO is a prime example of that after Big Little Lies became a critical and awards season breakout, sweeping the limited series category before it was renewed for a second season. That has helped change the discourse when shows are billed as limited series.
Based on a novel by Matt Ruff, Lovecraft Country mixes the horror fiction of H.P. Lovecraft with the real-life terrors faced by Black people in Jim Crow-era America. The series starred Jonathan Majors, Jurnee Smollett, Aunjanue Ellis, Michael K. Williams and Courtney B. Vance.
Green had pitched and penned scripts for a second season. The cabler, overseen by Casey Bloys, opted instead to pass on returning the drama. “We’re in talks with HBO the possibility of it, but nothing’s official,” Green told THR last October after what now serves as its series finale.
On Friday, following headlines that the show would not be returning for a second season, Green also tweeted out a preview of her previous season two plans. “Wish we could have brought you #LovecraftCountry: Supremacy. Thank you to everyone who watched and engaged,” she wrote.
— Misha Green (@MishaGreen) July 3, 2021
The show had ratings similar to the audience for Watchmen a year ago. It also was in line with other HBO dramas including The Outsider (9 million) and Perry Mason. Of those, HBO renewed Perry Mason for a second season (with new showrunners) and passed on bringing back The Outsider — another limited series — for another round despite its ratings and critical success.
Green (WGN America’s Underground) executive produced the show with J.J. Abrams, Jordan Peele, Bill Carraro, Yann Demange (who directed the series premiere) and Daniel Sackheim (who helmed episodes two and three). David Knoller was an EP on episode one. Matt King and Rachel Rusch are co-exec producers. Green’s afemme, Inc., Abrams’ Bad Robot and Peele’s Monkeypaw Productions produce in association with Warner Bros. TV.
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