Big changes today over at HBO: the network has announced that three of its original series — Bored To Death, Hung, and How To Make It In America — will not be returning for another season. (Honestly? No big loss on the second and third, there. But I will be sad to see Bored To Death go.) That's a significant chunk of the premium channel's comedies, and only one show with its future in question, Enlightened, made the cut and will be back for more episodes. But I guess all the critical praise that show received in its debut season reminded network executives that HBO sometimes has shows that people are really into, as opposed to the general "meh" machine that was Hung. It certainly wasn't saved because of its ratings:
Ironically, of the four comedies whose future was on the line, "Enlightened" had the smallest audience. Only 1.5 million viewers tuned in to see the Laura Dern and Mike White exec produced series about a woman (Dern) who returns home from a treatment center to face a mind-numbing job in the corporate world.
While this was a lot of change in one day, especially for a network like HBO, which doesn't have a huge amount of original programming to start with, there are quite a few new series waiting to take these now-open spots. Just last week we saw the first trailer for the Judd Apatow/Lena Dunham collaboration Girls, and soon that will be joined by VEEP (starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus and created by Armando Iannucci), Ricky Gervais's Life's Too Short, and Angry Boys from Summer Heights High creator Chris Lilley.
A bit early for a big spring cleaning, maybe, but a line-up like that elbowing for room on the schedule makes the loss of Jonathan Ames' bizarro private detective a bit easier to swallow.