In one unapologetic swoop, HBO’s chosen to cancel three of its half-hour comedies, Bored to Death; Hung; and How to Make it In America, while renewing Laura Dern’s dramedy, Enlightened for a second season.
The dramatic reduction in programs is likely the product of necessity: With True Blood, Eastbound and Down, The Life and Times of Tim — and now Enlightened — slated for definite returns, the number of new series the network intends to push leaves little room for shows with dwindling ratings.
The most unoriginal of the lot, How to Make It was essentially Entourage set in New York. Rather than focus on an aspiring actor, the series (also produced by Mark Wahlberg) rode on the tails of two guys with a dream: To make jeans. Or t-shirts. Or any apparel that granted entry to exclusive parties and eliminated the need for a lame desk job.
It wasn’t all bad — Bryan Greenberg was adorable; Luis Guzman was hysterical; and New York was as spirited and colorful as we’ve come to know it. The show just lacked depth and originality. And once the two protagonists actually did “make it,” there was only one direction their story could go: Entourage in New York.
Bored to Death and Hung both took stabs at being novel with their respective plots, but a high-school teacher turned male hooker can only be believable for but so long. And with Ted Danson’s secondary character the unquestionable standout of Bored to Death, one can’t help but wonder if the show would have fared better with the Cheers star at its helm.
But enough about those duds — we won’t have to worry about them moving forward, and HBO’s got several new series for us to love, hate, or ignore:
Life’s Too Short, a faux-documentary created by Ricky Gervais, will follow the life of an aspiring actor who also happens to be a little person; Julia Louis-Dreyfus of Seinfeld-fame will helm the political comedy, Veep; and finally, after being understandably gun shy about putting out another show with an explicitly female perspective, HBO is offering a new spin on single life in Girls.
Most exciting, the network will again pair with Sex and the City producer Darren Star for The Viagra Diaries. Based on thebook by Barbara Rose Brooker, the series will center on a sixtysomething woman’s experience being single again after her husband abandons thirty-five years of marriage — a distinctly bold premise that’s Golden Girls-like in its ambitions. And with Goldie Hawn playing the lead, we can’t help but hope The Viagra Diaries is a hit — even if it hasn’t begun filming yet.Tags: 2012, Bored to Death, bored to death canceled, Bryan Greenberg, Cheers, darren star, Eastbound and Down, enlightened, enlightened renewed, enlightened returns, girls, HBO, Hbo cancels hung, hbo cancels three shows, hbo new shows, How to Make it in America, how to make it in america canceled, hung, hung canceled, life's too short, new shows, sex and the city, ted danson, television, the life and times of tim, the life and times of tim season 3, the viagra diaries, True Blood, veep, viagra diaries