It’s not often that a premium cable network cancels a series after just one season, but such is the fate of Happyish. Showtime has confirmed the death of its first-year comedy, which opened in April to mostly negative reviews. Created by playwright Shalom Auslander, Happyish was originally intended as a starring vehicle for the late Phillip Seymour Hoffman, with Showtime chief David Nevins excitedly revealing the project to TV critics back in 2013. After Hoffman died and Steve Coogan signed on to fill the Hoffman role on the show, Nevins decided to keep the project going. But the combination of harsh critical reaction (the Denver Post’s Joanne Ostrow called the pilot “a sad, pretentious piece of work, desperate to be taken seriously”) and low ratings (just 300,000 viewers watched episode one within the first three days of its premiere, while, on average, a modest 1.6 million caught most episodes on Showtime’s various platforms) gave Nevins little incentive to bring Happyish back. On the bright side, the show still has the distinction of being what our Margaret Lyons called “far and away the most phallocentric show I’ve ever seen.”
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