HBO Cancels ‘Bored To Death,’ ‘Hung’ & ‘How To Make It’; Renews ‘Enlightened’

Published 2 years ago by , Updated February 15th, 2014 at 8:47 pm,

With a loaded production schedule and several potential new series in the works, pay-cable network HBO has cleaned house by unceremoniously pulling Bored to Death, Hung and How to Make it in America, while at the same time renewing the Laura Dern-led Enlightened, in the wake of its two Golden Globe nominations.

Sadly, the swift termination of these shows leaves the creators no time to accurately wrap up their respective storylines – which in the case of Hung and Bored to Death, ended with some pretty heavy questions waiting for answers. However, as fans of Deadwood, Carnivale and John from Cincinnati can attest: sometimes that’s the way the cookie crumbles.

Realistically, though, ratings were a problem. Hung, starring Thomas Jane (The Punisher, The Mist), Rebecca Creskoff (Justified) and Anne Heche (Rampart) was the most watched of the three, and yet it suffered a ratings drop of nearly 50 percent from the season prior. And even though Jane landed his second Golden Globe nomination for his role in the series, it clearly wasn’t enough for HBO.

Meanwhile, despite starring Jason Schwartzman (Scott Pilgrim vs. the World), Ted Danson (CSI: Crime Scene Investigation) and Zach Galifianakis (The Hangover I&II), Bored to Death was dealt a 25 percent loss of viewership – the same as the Bryan Greenberg (Friends with Benefits) and Lake Bell (No Strings Attached) fashion dramedy, How to Make it in America.

While the lack of ratings might seem to be the culprit in the demise of these programs, the real puzzler here is that Enlightened was the worst performer out of all of them – typically earning less than 250,000 viewers. However, in its favor, Enlightened did manage to snag two Golden Globe nominations, for best comedy and actress. As evidenced by the smaller audiences programs like Mad Men and Breaking Bad garner, accolades and awards typically mean a great deal when it comes to the longevity of a series.

Laura Dern in ‘Enlightened’

Series creator Mike White (School of Rock) responded to the news by saying, “I know HBO has had to make some hard decisions. I feel very lucky that they are letting us make more Enlightened. We will do our best to make something cool.”

The cancellations may have had more to do with HBO’s incredibly busy production schedule that already features the returning Eastbound and Down; 2012 will also welcome the upcoming Ricky Gervais comedy Life’s Too Short, Girls from Lena Dunham and Judd Apatow and the Julia Louis-Dreyfus political comedy Veep. Additionally, the network will be bringing in the new comedy 40, starring Ed Burns and hailing from Entourage creator Doug Elin, as well as a new program from Sex and the City creator Darren Starr entitled Viagra Diaries, which will star Goldie Hawn.

Whatever the case, it is still unfortunate to see these programs go without so much as a curtain call. However, since it doesn’t look like HBO is planning to move beyond the two nights a week it airs new episodes of its original programming, the solution to the problem of an overcrowded schedule will likely stay the same.

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Enlightened will return to HBO sometime in 2012.

Source: Deadline

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  1. well this sucks

    • Yes it does! I loved How to Make it in America and Hung…and I also liked and watched Bored to Death. It was replaced with more crap!

  2. I really was getting into Bored to Death me and my co worker will come to work and discuss every episode after it airs and laugh about it. It became an every day thing it made our co-workers go home and watch so they can join in on the fun. But now HBO has to cancel the one show that i was becoming to LOVE n JOY watching! I even had my sis watch the 3rd season all on demand and now we was looking for season 1 and 2 but now that would be a waist since their would be no season 4! I find this unfair and it kinda makes me sad cause it was freakin funny to watch!

  3. I’m saddened by Hung. By the same token, I have 4 on my DVR I haven’t watched yet.

  4. Feel that hbo need to have there shows film for an hour as opposed to a half hour i think that will cause better character development. i enjoyed watching hung it was part of my sunday line up and maw to make it in america is getting better watching the development of crisp got me hooked.
    so enlighten did not like it but i quess thats how the cookie crumbles

  5. That’s sad. These were all really good shows!

    At least I got to see Lake Bell nude in ‘How to Make it in America’ though ;) hahaha

  6. Honestly, I may as well cancel HBO. It’s not as if I EVER find a movie I like on it and the original programming is all that is worthwhile. Now that “How to Make it…” is done, I have no reason to watch HBO. The real shame is that ever since the Sopranos went off, HBO has just been so starved for an instant hit that it forgot what made its programming great to being with:
    Sleeper shows, with a niche audience, that would slowly gain momentum. Think “Dream On” or even “Sex and the City”. Hell, “Arliss” even lasted for what seemed like forever using that formula.
    The problem is, the “sopranos” was such a tour de force that its credibility spilled over into its other dramas, such as “Six Feet Under” and “Rome” (Rome was also cancelled WAY too soon, and was the best show IMO; One thing about HBO, it sure can do Italians).
    But, now with no solid anchor, the HBO shows just cannot find the footing to survive. “How to Make it” was an EXCELLENT show. It was not just the “anti-Entourage, East Coast style”. But it portrayed real people with real problems beyond how to pass a drug test and whether Vince can help get his brother’s pilot picked up. Besides, Luis Guzman was the MAN in it.
    Really disappointed about this. I have faith that HBO’s new shows will be solid, but it’s just too bad that it pulled the plug on at least ONE good show (not too up on “Hung” or “Bored to Death”), that followed the original formula on just growing into its own.
    Sad day for me in TV Land, as I was SOOOOO looking forward to what Cam, Ben, and the boys would be up to next season with their clothing empire presumably building. Maybe Showtime or Starz will pick up on HBO’s mistake and bring this show back, if HBO won’t.

    • losing these shows are not a big deal..although i was suprised about bored to death…suprised enlightened and that new orleans show didnt get axed instead

      • “That New Orleans show” as you put it, or Treme, is great if you live here or have ever been to New Orleans one time and spent time soaking in the city. That and the fact that it has David Simon of The Wire, Generation Kill acclaim at the helm is why it hasn’t been canceled. He was a crime reporter, and from this experience, and natural talent as a writer, he has honed his ability to take a place and transform it into a living, breathing entity. New Orleans is the main character in Treme, and it is so insanely accurate in the way the city is depicted and the the actual characters themselves all people I’ve met there when I moved their three weeks before Katrina hit. We left the city as the storm hit, and then moved back and forth over the next few years between N.O. and northwest Louisiana, in Shreveport where I’m from. From the murders and crime(#1 in the country several years in a row for violent crimes and murders) to the drugs to the food to Mardi Gras to the Cajun culture/Creole culture and heritage from Haiti, to the jazz music and the Indians, the city is teeming with life and intriguing, if you can penetrate the it’s thick skin. The city is unlike any other, where politicians and voters, celebrities and fans, cops and killers, and rich and poor are all on equal footing, and intermingle on a daily basis. Not in the way they would in LA or NY, but in a much less rushed, anti-social way. The city isn’t called The Big Easy for nothing, and the show persists much like anyone who has visited the city once usually ends up spending a long period of time there, or living there for good. When you watch the show, you are definitely seeing New Orleans, as it is today, and was meant to be shown. Although I wish they would feature, at least in one episode, the Haitian Voodoo history of NOLA, as it isn’t often seen except for in The Skeleton Key.

        • One thing, by the characters being people I’ve met their, I meant that I’ve met people that are exactly like Annie and Sonny, etc. The writers have such a good understanding of how the city feels and what the people and their attitudes are like that they have to have spent extensive time their, or at least spent time with some great sources. Spot on.

        • Sigh, another edit…social*, not anti-social. Need an edit feature in the comments.

    • I feel the same way charlie… (mainly about what you said about how to make it in america) I loved that show and hopefully it gets picked up by showtime or something like that. Being Dominican and from NY I could relate to Cam (Victor Rasuk) and Renee (Luis Guzman). Can’t believe its just done/over like that…

  7. Bored To Death is such a rare beauty, teetering the line of sophisticated and stoner comedy that made me lose my mind everytime I watched it. Religiously I might add. It’s a shame that such original programming gets booted along with the other two great shows.

    • I hear you man. I loved that show so damn much, a real shame. HBO can suck it

  8. Ok…..I know this will rub some wrong….But there’s already a boat load of chick flicks (Or series) on regular prime time TV. Showtime and HBO has basically become one of the last places for basically guy TV with all those things most women get up in arms about…..violence and a lot of nude sexy women. Sounds rough, but look at the shows that are making it huge…Game of Thrones, Boardwalk Empire, Sparticus, Dexter, amd of course that nice little love comedy…Californication……

    I’m surprised that Enlightened didn’t get axed too, but apparently there’s still a lot of Sex And The City women looking for that type of show. I really tried hard to watch it, but half way through the second episode I had enough ad dropped it.

    I never watched Hung, but I did try the other two for a short time. What sets them apart from sitcoms like Weeds and Californication is that they are just an R rated version of regular sitcoms where as the other two are more than just an R rated version…They have their own niche…

  9. Why would you cancel how to make it in america. Thats a show to motivate somebody and it did give you the keys to get out there and attempt to be successful.Even though I really aint did too much I got so many ideas in my head after watching that show. They should have kept that and turned that into a hour long show. but your gonna keep some bs on there ? ok the reason the ratings are down is because not enough commercials andthe show should be longer. corporate america makes me sick

    • u tell em! Im really pissed about them cancelling HTMA!

  10. Man this sucks I liked bored to death

  11. I just got off the phone with my TV providing an hour ago and canceled HBO. Screw hollow threats of saying I might do it. I simply called up and canceled.Now it’s gone from my viewing. I can download Boardwalk Empire and Game of Thrones. It’s not worth paying for the channel for two shows when i decided to pay for it because they had 4 great ones. I’ll miss Bored to Death and Hung but especially Hung it was a fantastic show with what will now be one of the worst series finales in history. This is how I would of felt had I been a fan of Deadwood when it was still on the air. HBO will never be subscribed to in my house again. I thought Enlightened was terrible and funny that they keep the lowestrated of all these shows simply becuse it was nominated for Golden Gloves. Hung was the highest of them all and was nominated as well. Shouldn’t that save it from the axe?

  12. This sucks so much. Hung and How To Make It In America were two shows that i found were the best on HBO. You guys are making a real mistake by taking those off and leaving room for Enlightened which had less viewers out of all of them. You should take in consideration that many people who do not have access to HBO on their TV’s, watch HBO shows online which is what I do for Hung. Just because there aren’t necessarily the amount of viewers you wanted watching on HBO, there are still thousands of viewers watching over the internet, Please consider making room for these shows again in the future. It’s a real shame not knowing what is going to happen in these series.

  13. Both Bored to Death and How to Make it in America were the main reasons why we subscribed to HBO in the first place. They were both unique and entertaining with great characters and solid story lines. How to Make seems incomplete and we were so looking forward to the next season. Sometimes you need solid half hour comedies to get your fix and those are just going to be missed. We’ll probably end up canceling HBO now. Bummer

  14. Dahm I love bored to death , this really sucks ballz!

  15. WTF! bored to death is awesome. amazing and funny cast! i am will not sleep well. hope HBO dont either

  16. Im so mad! Hung was my favorite. Particularly because it was shot AND takes place where I live, Michigan. No more Entourage. Hung is now gone. The only show left that I watch on the is Boardwalk Empire, and after what happened at the end of season 2, Im not sure I will tune in for 3! (I know I will deep down inside, lol)

  17. “Enlightened” was the one show I would have liked to see go! It got nominated?! I didn’t even know it was considered a comedy, I didn’t laugh once the whole season!

    • I agree. I had no idea it was suppose to be a comedy!

  18. but i like hung… seriously where else am i going to see thomas janes balls and shaft!!! huh HBO? WHERE ?!?

  19. It seems that whoever is making programming decisions for HBO has no idea what people like or what we are watching. These cancellations (especially Bored to Death) are going to remind me not to get too enthralled with any HBO programming. HBO obviously has access to the talent but no skills in managing the programming.

  20. NO! I love those shows! I never watch them when they are actually on…I watch them on demand. I imagine people like me do not count towards ratings?

  21. I can NOT believe they cancelled HUNG!! I love that show and am soooooooo disapointed! Being married, it was so hilarious to see all of that unravel! I can’t believe they left it like that….Beefalo….really???? That’s it???? OMG!! So Lenore gets shot….big deal!!! I wanna see more of this show!! Dangit!!!

  22. So depressing how hbo cancled how to make it in america. Like come on why would they cancel it over enlightened some crazy former junkie b****. Clearly the advertisement was not good enough for how to make it in america. No one even knows about that show but it is actually an amazing show.

  23. I am not going to get attached to HBO shows anymore; too disappointing. I liked all three of these shows. Not going to be sucked in and then cancelled.

  24. That really sucks that they cancelled Hung, especially for some of the horrible shows HBO is replacing them with. At least give them one more season to wrap everything up. And Veep is absolutely horrible. All those Seinfield actors are horrible outside of that show!

  25. Ridiculous… canceling bored to death? HBO needs to check out all the disappointed people. It was brilliant and although I watch Enlightened, I am giving it only one more season to grab me. Ts not an instant like. Derns character does a neurotic disservice to enlightening truth. Maybe that’s the goal since all networks are owned by elite controlling evil.

  26. Well HBO is dead to me … starz and showtime have great shows ,tried of buying their products just to have them cancelled and sit with NO ENDING!
    And if you think it’s funny that that’s the way the cookie crumbles then you have the viewers all wrong because we can change the channel right off of HBO.Oh and that the way the cookie crumbles!

  27. wow hbo, i was wondering when the heck how to make it in america was gonna come out with season 3 as i was thinking its been delayed and i check up on it finally only to have my day ruined.. not to mention the kicker of bored to death as well… sheeeeeesh i also watched hung im not digging this

  28. That is bull. Bored to death was great and how to make it in America was good too. They bought back crap I mean girls is good reminds me of my sister living in New York but enlighten was trash. But the worst show hbo has ever done got renewed VEEP that was just a waste of time it was not funny at all and it got renewed why?

  29. Showtime is taking over as the better original programming shameless is one of the best shows on tv now house of lies is really good nurse Betty is good and californication is good and even homeland is a good show now that I found out about hbo dropping the shows I watch I’m canceling it and put on showtime plus hbo doesn’t have good movies anymore they are trash now