In today’s television world, it seems the network chiefs don’t know what they are doing. It started with NBC leaving one of the best shows on television Community of their mid-season schedule. Although while Community has some hope of returning next season, that is not the case for HBO shows Hung, How to Make It In America and Bored To Death, which all ended with questions unanswered. All of these half-hour comedies were cut to make room for new programming. The question is why?
Bored To Death starring heavy-hitters like Ted Danson, Jason Schwartzman, and the very funny Zach Galifinakis, was dealt a 25 percent loss in viewership, while Hung lost 50 percent viewership. Here is what I think happened, these shows pertain to a younger generation, and what does a younger generation do? They download instead of paying and supporting our favourite shows. We may not be able to get upset at HBO for that but here is what we can get upset about. Bored To Death was also trialled for week-early previews on their online streaming service HBO Go, which meant each episode effectively ‘leaked’ online before its official airdate.
HBO’s new show Enlightened is the worst performer out of every other show on their channel receiving only 250,000 viewers. So like normal networks you cancel that show. But HBO instead decided to renew it. While Enlightened managed to get their hands on a couple of Golden Globe nominations that doesn’t mean it’s actually any good, as proven by their “winners” in the past, and it seems the HBO big-wigs have had their heads falsely turned.
There are some reasons for fans of those shows to smile again though as the new upcoming comedies taking their timeslots show great promise. Ricky Gervais’ comedy Life’s Too Short and Girls from Judd Apatow (Knocked Up, The 40 Year Old Virgin) are both coming soon while 40 starring Ed Burns is on the horizon too. There’s also another title from the creator of Entourage and a new show for women from the creator of Sex in the City entitled Viagra Diaries.
What the reasoning for HBO making this unfortunate decision without so much as a curtain call remains a frustrating mystery. Let’s just hope we don’t have another catastrophic programming decision come the turn of the year 2013.