HBO pulls the plug on 'Lucky Louie'

Showtime has given the go-ahead for a second season of the critically acclaimed crime drama “Brotherhood,” while HBO has axed its first stab at the multicamera sitcom “Lucky Louie.”

Similar to HBO’s situation with low-rated “The Wire,” Showtime executives have renewed “Brotherhood” for another 10 episodes in spite of a soft ratings performance. Skein is the best-reviewed series on the network in recent history.

Still, numbers are very low. Initial exposure on sister network CBS drew over 3 million viewers to the first episode on the Eye, but Nielsens for the first-run Sunday airings on Showtime have averaged a scant 241,000 total viewers (and an average 299,000 viewers between the 10 and 11 p.m. encores). Tally does not include multiplex or on-demand viewership.

“Brotherhood,” from Blake Masters and Mandalay TV, revolves around two powerful brothers — one a gangster (Jason Isaacs), the other a politician (Jason Clarke). Season finale airs Sunday.

Over at HBO, a slew of negative reviews for “Lucky Louie” seemed to have sunk the show’s chances for a renewal. Comedy starring Louis CK as a hard-working, blue-collar everyman drew an average 1.4 million overall viewers to its Sunday shows, a loss of more than 1 million from its’ “Entourage” lead-in.

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