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HBO Cancels Three Comedies, Renews Enlightened

The executioner’s axe swung mightily today at HBO headquarters, as the cable network canceled three half-hour series, and spared one. Hung, How to Make It in America, and Bored to Death will not live to see another season; while Enlightened, by far the lowest-rated of the four, has been picked up for Season 2. Personally, this is great news; I have been pretty vocal about how much I love Enlightened, and the series felt like it still had more stories to tell about the Amy Jellicoe’s quixotic adventures in corporate America. Of the others, only Bored to Death did I watch with any regularity, and I have to admit I finally gave up this season. Despite the presence of its delightful stoner trio of stars--Jason Schwartzman, Ted Danson and Zach Galifianakis--the show just started to collapse like a souffle. The characters were too inert, too self-absorbed, too content with their own preciousness, and the plots devolved into silliness. I appreciated what it was trying to do, but it made a fatal mistake: It ceased to be funny.

As for Hung and How to Make it in America, I know both shows had their fans. Hung seemed wholly pointless from its pilot episode, which, admittedly, was the last episode I watched. I just had issues with the premise, this mushy, milquetoast of a man being pimped like meat (and for his meat) by a variety of female neurotics. Weak leads sink series. Someone should needlepoint that and put it in every writers' room. And How to Make it in America just gave me East Coast Entourage hives. A true fan should give it the proper eulogy it deserves in the comments.

So what comedies can we look forward to in their place? Lena Dunham’s Girls, which, based on the preview (I never saw her film, Tiny Furniture), actually looks to have Something to Say About Kids Today. Then there’s Veep, from the devilishly clever Armando Iannucci (if you haven’t seen In the Loop, do; it’s where my love for The Office’s Gabe was born), and two comedies from foreign men whose appeal completely eludes me: Life's Too Short from Ricky Gervais, and Angry Boys from Chris Lilley, he of Summer Heights High fame. I won’t get into my thoughts on Gervais here, but what is HBO’s fascination with Lilley? He does one amusing character, the mean girl, but all the other characters on High are either dull, obvious, or both. The drama teacher, the juvenile delinquent. It’s all just so, oh I don’t know. Blaaah.


So which of HBO’s departing series will you miss most? Are you happy about Enlightened's renewal? Looking forward to the new kids on the block?

Comments (85)
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you are soooo wrong, Abramovitch!!! *How to make it in America* and *Hung* were almost perfect shows!!! I so looking forward for the next season!!!! And to compare HTMIA with Entourage is just a - blasphemy!!!
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How to make it in America cancelled? HBO.... i am disappoint :(

That show was so underrated, and it was much better than Entourage. Season 2 was just great!! I wish it had more episodes in s2 because it had so much potential to be even better. A comedy-drama that really worked.
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After a lackluster (but better than the the previous) final season of entourage, i felt that how to make it was just catching its stride....and i dont know how you can call thomas jane weak, he's the freakin punisher for crying out loud haha. i liked bored to death as well, but have never and will never be interested in enlightened
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That sucks I just got into How To Make It In America.
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HBO screws up it's best properties - How To Make It In America, Bored to Death, (Previously) - Rome, Deadwood, Treme & Carnivale
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The only one of the above mentioned shows that I watched was Hung. I have yet to catch the third and apparently final season because I was going to watch it later on demand. Networks need to realize that with so much competition now for viewers from the big 3, to cable stations like USA & TNT and premium channels like HBO and Showtime. There are often times when 2 or more shows that I want to watch come on at the same time so I watch the 1 that does not repeat first then I watch the shows that repeat then if I still missed it I catch up later on Demand and some shows I DVR. I said all that to say that I am sure that there are many others who view tv like that not to mention on the go and internet watching so how can they tell if a show is being viewed?
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Hung was SO good this season! I can't believe there won't be another!
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Bored to Death for ever!!!!!!
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Enlightened was the worst of the bunch
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Enlightened was the worst if the bunch
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I didn't care for Enlightened stopped midway through the second episode. Couldn't get into bored to death because I hate Jason Schwartzman. I did watch Hung and How to Make it in America but not too upset to see them go. I was surprised How to Make it got a season 2 because I started watch it on demand right after season 1 was over and never heard of it yet.

Both of them were on my DVR for weeks before I'd watch them. At least got to see Lake Bells boobs.
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How to make it in America was great show! one of my favorites lately... this is a huge dissapointment.
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Bored to death was a really bad...a nerdy writer turned detective? I think not!
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I like Hung.. :-(
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is this a joke? if it is ? it's a lame one...................How to Make It in America............no way......???????????
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I wouldn't have paid 1 penny to sit and have a conversation with Thomas Jane, much less have sex with him! Maybe if they had a hot hot gigolo the show would have been more fun! And is there a woman out there more repugnant than Jane Adams? I don't think so!
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Well good thing Jane Adams wasn't supposed to be a sex icon for the show, then. And Thomas Jane is one of the sexiest guy-next-door-ish men around.
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Looks like Ted can start enjoying more free time to spend with family now!
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At first I was a little disappointed by the Bored To Death news, but I have to agree that the last season really wasn't that good. I was missing episodes and catching up with them when there wasn't something else I'd rather be watching - never a good sign.

I've only watched the pilot of How To Make It... and I can't see why it's classed as a comedy - much like Enlightened - but I suppose that it's not really my thing.

As for Enlightened, I watched the first three or four episodes, decided I didn't like a single character (particularly the main one) so I gave up on it.

I managed to stick with hung for around 13 episodes or so, but you're right about the premise being thin. I didn't really like any of the characters so I gave up thie too - I will say though that it did make me laugh from time to time, so it wins points over Enlightened and How To Make It...



Life's Too Short is OK, Gervais isn't in it very much so I wouldn't let him sway your decision to not watch it.

From what I've seen of Summer Heights High I'm not going to bother with it or Angry Boys. I've not been a fan of those kinds of sketch shows since The Fast Show and Harry Enfield And Chums were on TV in the '90s.
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Seth is trying to replace Tim as the most consistently WRONG pundit in the TV Blogosphere.



Enlightened deserved to be renewed, and so did Bored to Death.
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Thank God Enlightened was renewed I cannot wait for its return!!!! And "Girls" looks pretty fun and interesting as well! Can't wait.

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Okay Bored to Death lovers...put down the Kool-Aid. The first two seasons were brilliant. The second season 3 opened and had Jonathan caught up in a real honest to god murder and police man hunt I knew the show was over. The great thing about the show was that it kept things small and quasi-believable. When a show like this goes to big it screams "we've ran out of ideas", and as the season went on things didn't get much better in my opinion.



As for the other two shows I can only speak about Hung. I'm right there with Seth. I watched the pilot and thought that it was a weak premise built around a weak leading man. Anyway with those three gone maybe we'll get another gold mine.
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I respect your right to be wrong. Bored to Death was a great show, and being canceled doesn't prove that it wasn't.
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WHAT?? I don't believe this. My faith in HBO was renewed when they brought back The Life & Times of Tim, but now those idiots cancel Bored to Death AND How to Make It in America?? I agree that BTD's past season wasn't as strong, but come on, that's no reason to give it the shaft. HTMIITA has just been consistent and one of my favorite shows from the jump. Man, what horrible, horrible decisions...



The upcoming comedies sound awful. What the hell are you thinking, HBO?
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I'm going to miss Hung, good thing the season ended the way it did... Gonna miss Logan the most.
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No need to be nasty.
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Price, why do you celebrate being so wrong all the time?
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I've only seen the first season of Bored To Death at this point in time, but I enjoyed it very much and will probably be sad when I reach the end of the series. Oh well, it was probably a good run.
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Shocking news! I think Bored to Death is the funniest comedy on TV right now, especially season 3 which has been brilliant!
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I'll miss Bored to Death and Hung. This is not fair.
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What a horrible decision by HBO. Hopefully How to Make it in America and Bored to Death will be brought back like The Life and Times of Tim has been.
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Meh, I don't watch "comedy" shows in general cos imo almost none of them share my sense of humor (well, except Curb Your Enthusiasm, which is awesome), so whatevs. As long as HBO doesn't touch Boardwalk Empire, the aforementioned Curb, Treme or Game of Thrones, I couldn't care less.
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Meh, I disagree. Um. Guuhhh.
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I'm going to be honest here... I'm kinda upset Hung was cancelled. But, granted, I only watched the first season. And I liked it. But I haven't got around to watching the rest. BUT STILL, HBO!
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Yay for Enlightened. I love that show. I don't watch any of the others. I started Hung but was bored quickly.
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I'm happy to hear Enlightened got renewed.
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I do like the new term "Pulling an NBC," so points to Arch, but I'd say they did it in the form of airing at least half of these shows in the first place, like The Event and The Cape (at least Heroes started out fairly). I can't speak for How to Make it in America or Bored to Death, but Seth's comments on Hung were spot-on even after watching one episode.



The main guy was a snooze, his ex wife was too bitchy to root for in any direction, the kids were heinous blobs, like pancakes that weren't cooked long enough, and the pimp was a dreadful neurotic mess that didn't even redeem herself when she redeemed herself (though a talented actress).



I only watched the first three episodes of Enlightened, and that was all I could take. It's more boring than Episodes, and anything at or below that level is out with me. I doubt I'm the target audience, but I don't care about her. I don't root for her, I don't agree with her, and I don't even sympathize with her. I don't know a single person that kept watching, and I know people who watch the Bachelor. Yes. Yes.



I don't root for shows I dislike to be canceled, I just don't miss them when they're gone. As an immediate fan of Firefly (who knew it wouldn't last long), I can at least sympathize with their fans. Ironically, another reason that I don't even give a lot of HBO's shows a chance is that, like NBC, i don't expect them to last and I don't want to get attached to them.
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HOW TO MAKE IT IN AMERICA was just great... I'll miss it deeply... congratulations to everyone who made it possible
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Fucking idiots. Enlightened is a piece of crap and Bored is one of the funniest shows on tv.
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Never watched Enlightened but I liked Bord to Death. Boo, HBO.
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I have to agree that Enlightened is a snooze-fest and yet I keep watching because of the great cast. I keep expecting it to get better.
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Yey, for Enlightened. I can now watch the show since I didn't get to watch it in the beginning. I was waiting for the cancellation/renewal...since I heard the show is good.
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I love Enlightened!!! I thought it would get canceled, but thank God it didn't. About the cancellations, Hung was my favorite. I thought it would get renewed, but it didn't. I knew Bored to Death and How to Make It in America were going to get canceled, and I was right.
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How to Make It in America was a good show to me.
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Will certainly miss Bored. RIP
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You should have watched more of Hung and you would have seen it was much more than what u said!

This was a good show in so many ways!

Also, HBO-Road to the Winter Classic is just fantastic! This is why hockey is so different from all the other big time sports!!!!!
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I love Enlightened, such a great show, what good news!
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I can't wait for Girls! It looks really funny!
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Really disappointed they cancelled How to Make it in America. One of my favorite shows the past 2 seasons *sigh*
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The Neanderthals did it.
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Agreed, that storyline was pretty brutal.
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For shame HBO. Way to pull an NBC.
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A perfect summary of everyone's feelings in only three words. Bravo! And you managed to coin a new phrase for insulting TV networks using only five additional words. I hope it catches on here on TV.com. This is a good day for you.
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I watch all of those shows but enlightened and am really sad to see them go. HTMIIA was great this season, and I was really looking forward to next season :(. Hung was enjoyable but I won't really miss it that much to be honest. And Bored to Death was great (although I haven't watched this season yet). Really disappointed in HBO right now...thought they were better at not cancelling shows that people actually liked.
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I watched Hung and How To Make It In America from the start... Hung had it's good moments but I won't really miss it.. I'm surprised HTMIIA got canceled after this season, first season was boring but the 2nd was really good, I actually started liking the characters. Enlightened has only had like 3 or 4 good episodes and the rest were boring, but I'm not surprised it got picked up, the season finale was actually interesting and it's probably cheaper to make. I won't be watching the new stuff either probably
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I've already watched every episode of Life's Too Short except the season finale, and while I love all of Gervais' work, this is nothing special. It's like Extras, but with little people, and much less funny. The cameos are the funniest bits but they're too short.
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This season of Hung was hilarious (best one yet)... pisses me off that it was a cliffhanger finale.. Started watching Enlightened on demand but might as well stop now... it'll probably be cancelled after next season
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