After two excellent but low-rated seasons, HBO has canceled its critically-acclaimed comedy-drama Enlightened. HBO released a statement yesterday saying, “It was a very difficult decision. We’ve decided not to continue Enlightened for a third season. We’re proud of the show, and we look forward to working with Mike White and Laura Dern in the future.”
The series, created by White and starring Dern as a woman who returns from rehab and attempts to do some good in the world by taking down the evil company that employs her, debuted in 2011 and earned Dern a Golden Globe for her performance. It was considered a surprise when HBO renewed Enlightened for a second season because the show had earned low ratings and only a modicum of critical acclaim in Season 1, but the flawless second season saw the show really find its voice and knock it out of the park, inspiring rave reviews from critics and hope from fans that it would once again get renewed despite its ratings.
The cancellation news is a real bummer as Enlightened has grown into one of the best shows on TV over the course of its second season. Since Season 2 ended with a cliffhanger and Mike White had plans of where to take things for a third season, let’s hope we get a wrap-up movie to close out the story - either an HBO TV movie finale a la Bored to Death or a Kickstarter-funded project like the Veronica Mars movie that earned financial backing from fans last week.