According to Buzzfeed’s Kate Aurthur, HBO has canceled the critically beloved but horribly rated Enlightened, opting not to give the show a third season. The network has yet to confirm the cancellation, so if you want to hold out hope until that happens, go right ahead. If any network was going to renew Enlightened, it would have been HBO, which had already brought the show back after a low-rated first season, but it seems like the combination of little uptick in viewership and an ending that could be seen as a definitive one for the whole series ultimately doomed the program. Creator Mike White had hoped to make the third season about a lawsuit against protagonist Amy Jellicoe, a corporate whistleblower played by Laura Dern, according to this interview with the Huffington Post. Now, we guess, that will live on in his head.
HBO has canceled shows and brought them back before, most recently with The Life And Times Of Tim, but that program had attracted interest from other outlets and was also animated (making it easier to reassemble the talent involved). Thus, a resurrection seems unlikely, even in this age of online streaming and Kickstarter and what-have-you. The best hope for Enlightened fans at this point is that Aurthur’s information is somehow wrong and/or HBO is just seeing what happens if it leaks something like this, then doesn’t follow through on it. Both options, needless to say, seem unlikely, but we’ll keep you posted. Look for an extended interview with White next week.
Update: And now, HBO has confirmed the cancellation, as per The Hollywood Reporter.