In typical HBO fashion, the premium network renewed its rock n’ roll drama Vinyl after its very first episode. Now weeks after the first season concluded, Home Box Office has changed its mind. Vinyl is officially canceled.
In a statement, HBO said: “After careful consideration, we have decided not to proceed with a second season of Vinyl. Obviously, this was not an easy decision. We have enormous respect for the creative team and cast for their hard work and passion on this project.”
This is quite the turnaround for the series, which was heralded as the next big thing on TV. We here at Fandom were very, very excited for the show – especially its cast and creators. Martin Scorsese and Mick Jagger were executive producers on the series while The Soprano’s Terence Winter was the show runner. With a cast comprised of Bobby Cannavale, Olivia Wilde, Ray Romano and Juno Temple, Vinyl had both the stars and the creative team to succeed. HBO believed in the show but it wasn’t enough to keep people engaged. Reviews were middling and ratings were soft from the start. In April, Winter was let go from the show as the network decided how to rework it for season two and make it the hit it was expected to be. Now it will never have the chance.
Vinyl was an expensive show (the first episode cost $30 million and the entire season $100 million). It also comes at a time when HBO is trying to find the next major TV drama. They’ve been having difficulties despite the success of Game of Thrones. The budget of Vinyl can be spent elsewhere, finding the next big hit.
It’s a surprising and somewhat embarrassing mis-step for HBO, a network that makes very few mistakes. But they’re looking ahead and there’s nobody on Earth who will count them out.