HBO Has Canceled Enlightened

HBO never found that sea turtle, I guess. 

After two brilliant seasons (that's not editorializing, that's simple fact), HBO has canceled Enlightened. The show was adored by critics but never able to muster more than a small—but passionate!—fan base. The news was first reported by BuzzFeed's Kate Arthur.  

Enlightened starred (ugh, past tense is painful) Laura Dern as Amy Jellicoe (Dern won a Golden Globe for the role), a woman whose at-work mental breakdown transformed her into an "agent of change" who wanted to make the world a better place through new-age self-help mumbo jumbo and positive thinking. With its dreamy voiceovers, marvelous character studies, incredible score, and gorgeous cinematography, Enlightened became more than just a genre-busting dramedy; it was a work of art that had the ability to move the viewer to new heights.  Seriously, I sobbed like a baby during every single episode.

I caught up on Season 1 shortly after it aired and was instantly hooked; Season 2 gained more critical attention as many other folks did the same. I'll admit Enlightened isn't for everyone, but if it's even remotely in your area code, it should make a huge impact. 

A special thanks to creator Mike White, who also played Tyler, for giving us this gem of a series. 

This one hurts. NOW will you watch Enlightened?


Follow TV.com writer Tim Surette on Twitter if you want to: @TimAtTVDotCom

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Be an agent of change, save Enlightened. Please voice your support and sign the petition to save the show!

http://enlightenedfans.tumblr.com/supporttheshow

http://www.change.org/petitions/netflix-amazon-hulu-directv-pick-up-the-critically-acclaimed-show-enlightened
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I have actually planned to watch season 2 during easter, because even though i don't find it funny, i think it has a great drama and that makes it diffently worth watching.
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Horrid decision....
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Mike White should start a Kickstarter to make more episodes or a movie... it worked for Veronica Mars!
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There should be a "Cancelled Series Pool" from which other networks could pick up and continue the series they'd want. SO many good series have been cancelled over the last few years, and surely some networks other than the original ones would find it financially viable to take a chance or two on a good show with an established fan base...?
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I watch the show and I really enjoyed it. I'm not happy it got canceled, yet 'Girl's got renewed. I'm pissed.

It really was a very good show. It was quirky and pretty realistic from my experience.
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Really bad news :/
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Damn I am bummed. and yes Sandorzian - it IS a bloody work of art!
I won't lie, when I first started watching it. I couldn't stand the main character and wondered why/how they could dare build a show around someone so unlikeable, but I stuck with it and she became more human/sympathetic. to point where I found myself simultaneously cringing/cheering her on. and it's not just Amy - her mother, ex-husaband and pathetic co-workers also grow on you. Plus which the contempt that you feel for her 'normal'/'popular' ex-work colleagues far outshadows the negative feelings you feel for Amy. Maybe it's just because I like rooting for the underdog, but I think that any show with such a high amount of unlikeable/unsympathetic characters that can draw you in despite yourself is DEFINITELY art. R.I.P Enlightened - you were a great underappreciated show that really made me think/feel.
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worst news ever .....
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"Work of art"? Seriously? ;)
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Loved the 1st season but I could not finish the 1st ep of the second one and dropped it. It felt like this season Amy was even less likeable... The character had some great qualities and insights but they came through nearly exclusively in the voiceovers (that were awesome) but in her day-to-day interactions with other human beings she was unbearable...
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uh-oh - I haven't seen the second season yet.... :-( I hope it's not as bad as you say. I just wrote a passionate defence of the show! :-)
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I only saw the first ep so can't judge the 2nd season just with that... and I read good reviews of later eps...
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Sad day, fat chance we'll ever see anything of its like again in the near future :(
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I really liked Mike White in the show. I was wishing for at least a 3rd season to really wrap things up. Amy Jellicoe is a hard character to like or root for but the characters and stories in the show are so much more realistic than so many others on TV.
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Bad news, but it's a relatively low budget show with invested stars (who may take a pay cut for the "art" or a cut of the take) so this may be a good Kickstarter project.
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this truly hurts. I loved it! I don't know why so many lousy shows get renewed year after year while true gems such as this get canned!
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society and their morals nowadays. Makes for 'fun' tv yet we are all going to hell. Enjoy!
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I watch a lot, but I didn't watch this. All the positive comments about it from the reviewers here couldn't convince me to watch Enlightened's premise.
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I tried watching this show and I hated it. I'm sorry but I got bored REALLY fast. I mean it didn't relate to me so I had trouble connecting to it or maybe I wasn't open to hearing it or watching it. I don't know. After Hung was cancelled I was a little upset.
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I had the same reaction. I like Laura Dern so I tried to give it a chance but found it boring. I had the same trouble with Rubicon which was critically acclaimed, but despite liking spy related shows and shows requiring thought (which supposedly they claimed this did) found it incredibly slow and boring. It made me wonder if many critics just aren't sharp so they need shows that operate at a slow pace.
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It was okay, but VERY slow with the story and then finally the last few episodes were AWESOME as they wrapped all the crap up. I started liking the lead though cause I watched The Pacific and just loved the acting of what's his face. I'm kinda in a hurry, but I think his last name is Badge? Anyway he's a great actor and he was really popular for a minute and now I don't see him doing much television or movie wise. I hope he's still working and his career hasn't stalled cause AMC pulled the plug. But I will admit Rubicon was WAY better then The Killing UGH. That show is WAY too slow for me.
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Sad news! Although I see why it isn't a series for everyone. I think each episode was more like some kind of reflection on life than a real part of the story. The plot didn't vary much and not much really happened... I liked it, though. I'm gonna miss Tyler! :-(
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Season 2 moved at a much faster pace and her plans to expose THE COMPANY was so exciting. How can you say nothing much happened? Did you actually watched season 2?
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I did. Still, it took them 8 episodes to show something that actually started in season 1. I'm not really criticizing it - I like the show, you know - but for most people, the pay off would be very little. Like I said before, the show was much more about reflecting on things than moving the plot further.
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May be if you wrote about it Tim, it would have attracted more viewers. I guess, it was so good you didn't know how to get around it. Coz I couldn't find any articles about 1 season or second only near the end we had all these critic's hopes for 3 season. How come did Wire get 5 seasons and Enlightened - 2? Wire did poorly from the start, but HBO kept saving it. And Wire never got Emmy awards and all other awards it got in 4 or 5 seasons. So I can't get HBO logic in this, or brain activity. Only that crime shows get free pass, life dramedy with female lead character gets boot earlier if it doesn't deliver. Diane Ladd should get Emmy nomination for episode in the end of 1 season. HBO, losers.
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Sad news, and even sadder that they had to accelerate what has now become the series instead of at least finishing the second season as a complete 10 episodes. Still, ratings rule house.

In these days of Netflix and box set sales, however, I'd say that truly quality series have every chance of a resurrection one or two years down the road. I'm not saying that HBO, or any other premium network, would bring "Enlightened" back, I'm just saying that nowadays that sort of thing has become much more possible.
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Was a decent little show, wife and I enjoyed it a lot, shame it's cancelled but I can see why it struggled to get an audience.
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This sucks but seeing as how "Bored to Death" and "Hung" got better numbers, not a surprise. This show got even better in its second season. So much smarter than that other dumb Sunday night comedy that did get renewed about the entitled party girls living in NYC. This show actually gave Molly Shannon a great character to play instead of just casting her as the "Molly Shannon type" character most shows use her as. Shame it never found an audience. HBO is losing its superiority.
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I really love this show :( sad about this..
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Yup. Chalk this one up to "not being sure what it was about" along with Terriers and Men of Certain Age from last year. Dern was FANTASTIC and season two was even better than season 1, with the "quest" against the "evil company". Sad indeed and a drop in overall quality of current TV offer.
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No :( I'm seriously so sad about this.
But, someone please tell me if I should still watch season 2. I got caught up on season 1 on HBO Go and absolutely loved it, but is it worth it to watch season 2? I'm sure I would love it no matter what, but is there some big cliffhanger at the end that is going to drive me crazy because I never got to see the conclusion??
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u can still watch it; there´s a "small" cliffhanger at the end but i think is not gonna drive u crazy... ps. no it´s not a cliffhanger like the killing! :)
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Watched the first episode - hated it...
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Of course they cancelled it, who wants people to be inspired to become activists?!? Booo, HBO!
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True: not for everyone. People would rather watch fat naked girls shitting themselves while eating a burrito. Quality comes first, right HBO?
I'm very disappointed, but at least it ended with no cliffhanger.
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This show brought to life the existential dilemma of both being within something while also being distinct from it. Its central themes of change (and particularly change from within the system), isolation, accountability, trust, and self-identity were linked together wonderfully by the dreamy narration and realised brilliantly through the interactions between all the main characters.
I think the underlying philosophical narrative that drove the storyline was lost on a lot of people, which is unfortunate because the case study episodes towards the end of season 2 were so rich and rewarding they could even be appreciated as short films.
I'm a bit surprised HBO would drop this show despite low ratings. This really is a loss for quality tv. I know nothing about netflix or hulu (they aren't available) but it seems like the kind of show that has a pretty good chance of living on there.
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I didn't watch it and from your description I understand that I was probably right.
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I watched the whole first season in a day and after the last episode I literally said out loud "That's it?" It felt like nothing happened. I never bothered with season two. =\
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Never watched a minute of this show. I'm starting to think critics don't know anything about anything. naaaah, that can't be it.
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Yeah, this one hurts. Maybe I need to enter rehab to deal with my mental breakdown as a result of the cancellation. I might emerge as a more open-minded and calm person, eager to accept all kinds of TV pilots next TV season.

The cancellation wasn't a big surprise though in the light of the ratings. Luckily the season two ending completely works as show finale. I rather have only two seasons of a show with a proper ending, than a show that churns out seasons but gets cancelled after five years without a real ending. Enlightened will stay in our memories as a fun, meaningful show.
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Nooooooooooooo! I'm traumatised. This was one of the best shows ever on television!! Brilliant writing and acting. i learned a few things about life from this show as well. It will be sorely missed :(.
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Surprisingly, I actually got into this show and enjoyed Season 1 very much. Have been too busy to watch any of the cable show's new seasons, including Enlightened, Spartacus, Californication, Shameless, and Girls but I will eventually since they stay "on demand" for more than a year. Will be sad to know Englightened is over while I watch Season 2.
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Spartacus has been GREAT this season. Definitely catch up because this is the last season, and with only three episodes left I can't wait to see how they conclude it.
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NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO... I didn't see this coming from HBO. incredible.
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Meanwhile "Girls" lives on.
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I wonder if Enlightened will get any post-humous nominations...
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I hope not.
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I don't think it happens often. The Emmys like to pretend canceled shows never existed.
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I wonder why I wonder why I wonder why I wonder.
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That is post-humorous.
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post-hummus. Pass the pita.
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Seen the Pilot, I wasn't impressed. Will check out another ep and see if its worth marathoning. ::stretches legs::
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Watched it from the beginning. Sad to see it go.
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the description put me off.
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Darn! Hard to watch at times but riveting TV. HBO you are better than this.
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This news ruined my week. I love enlightened so much, and was disappointed that the second season only had 8 glorious episodes. I thought ratings didn't matter to HBO, but this is the same fate they bestowed upon my other favourite TV series ever, Carnivale. Both cancelled after two magnificent seasons. Pure art and poetry these exceptional tv series' are. So sad =(
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wtf!!!! they canceled one of my favorite shows.
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Every time I read a description of this show, I am further repelled. I mean, I'm sorry for your loss.
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I didn't care much for it in season 1, only 2 or 3 episodes were any good, the rest were boring.. but season 2 actually gave it a plot and I liked it. would've liked to see more about what happened after
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I caught up with season 1 a few months before season 2. I really liked the second season, but at least it ended with closure.
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I loved this show... Season 2 was great, especially last episode... A shame that it's cancelled.
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SNIFF! :-(
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The show was interesting, not always pleasant, not always entertaining, but that's what made it a good work of art. But still, I won't miss it terribly. Besides, the main character, Amy, was especially annoying and her babble about "changing" was often unbearable. I think that turned viewers away.
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On one hand it's sad and disappointing but on the other hand I don't mind so much because Season 2 had great closure and the show feels complete. I'm sure that Mike and Laura would have come up with some great stuff if there'd been a third season but there would also have been a strong possibility that the quality would have waned. Season 2 was wonderful but I preferred Season 1, as it felt more balanced (probably due to the two extra episodes) and I felt the slight change in tone to a serialised dramedy in Season 2 meant it didn't quite reach the heights of the more existential Season 1.

So I'm not letting this get me down too much; in its entirety Enlightened can now almost be viewed as an uber-miniseries.
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Wow they cancelled Hung for this shit very upseting
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Someone else misses Ray Drecker and Tanya! I like "Enlightened" but not as much as "Hung". At least "Enlightened" went out without a cliffhanger.
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