HBO Turns Off ‘Enlightened’

HBO Turns Off 'Enlightened'

Series drew 500,000 viewers combined for three airings of its finale.

HBO has elected not to renew Laura Dern starrer “Enlightened” for a third season.

The series, which Dern co-created with co-star Mike White, enjoyed critical raves in its recently completed second season (with all eight episodes written by White) but struggled with viewership, even by HBO standards.

This year’s “Enlightened” season premiere drew 300,000 viewers on its initial airing and 220,000 for its March 3 finale, dropping 67% from the 673,000 viewers its “Girls” lead-in captured. The “Enlightened” finale had 500,000 viewers for the night across three airings.

“It was a very difficult decision,” HBO said in a statement. “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.”

Dern won the Golden Globe for TV comedy actress in 2012, after the show’s first season. The cast also featured Luke Wilson, Diane Ladd, Sarah Burns and Timm Sharp. Scott Stephens exec produced with Dern and White, who continues to have an overall deal with HBO.

Buzzfeed first reported the news.

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  1. nancyalbino says:

    I found Enlightened by accident. I went back and watched the episodes I missed. I totally identified with someone whose company treated them like sh*t, because a personal issue caused them to crash. I identified with how difficult it was to come back from that and try to be successful again. The people who make the decisions at HBO have no idea how many people feel the way Amy feels about her work and her life. Perhaps because they are the 1%, the ones who live on Mulholland. She did what the rest of us want to do! High-fiving a million angels to Amy & Tyler. No, they may not be “the voice of a generation” like those arrogant “Girls”. They are one of us, the middle class, just trying to get through another crappy work day.

  2. Nina says:

    I was really looking forward to the third season. It was a show I continued to rave about. It’s a real shame that we’ll never see where this series could have gone.

  3. Norma Pagan says:

    What a shame! I loved Enlightened. I thought it was one of the best shows on HBO as well as on cable. I watched it religiously from the first season up to this past season, which unfortunately, HBO decided is the last. What a waste! They are making the wrong decision on this one, just like their series “Luck”, which was a good show and was also yanked from their lineup. HBO seems to be making some bad decisions. Please! No more! After subscribing to HBO for more than 25 years, I might just end it.

  4. barbara Hampton says:

    HOw sad, this was really a great series!! Guess I don’t need to subscribe to HBO anymore.

  5. Tim Hastings says:

    I guess HBO would have left it on if it had some gratuitous nudity, grisly mob hits or a few beheadings. Nice going, HBO!

  6. Barb says:

    I am very sad about this. I looked forward to each episode. Mike White’s writing is so good. I will miss Amy and Tyler and Levi and Amy’s mom…..:(

  7. Kelly N says:

    Shameful…I am canceling HBO…DONE

  8. Tami says:

    totally disappointed to hear there will not be a 3rd season – loved this show!

  9. Amie says:

    It was the same with Twin Peaks. #eternal regrets

  10. jnt says:

    “Enlightened” was the only reason we kept paying for HBO. Hands down the best television show ever written. Why on earth would you guys cancel it? Unbelievable.

  11. Ruth Costello says:

    I loved this show–the writing was wonderful, the characters complex, and the plot re: taking down a corrupt organization is a fantasy come true! HBO, how could you?

  12. Tom says:

    There, honestly. goes my only reason for subscribing to HBO! They made the same mistake with Carnivale. But, of course Real Sex and Cathouse live on!!

  13. Please sign this petition to save Enlightened! Would be perfect for Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, etc. As an “Agent of Change”, Amy would approve.

  14. rjsamson says:

    I loved the first season. But despite good storylines and a good cast, I got bored with the minimal, understated, monochromatic, soft look of the production and I stopped watching.

  15. Michelle says:

    S U C K !!! Best show on telly. Can’t believe a series so brilliantly composed gets cancelled. Maybe many people can’t deal with a show focused on 2 mature women…Dern 46, Ladd 78. It’s a VERY sad state of affairs when the genius of Mike White and Laura Dern can’t sustain a show that is wholly SUBLIME.

  16. Conflicted Human says:

    Noooooooo! Enlightened has been one of the most inspiring shows I have ever watched. It actually showed me how I could go about making changes in the world and the possible emotions that would arise. I wanted to find out what would happen to Luke Wilson’s character and everybody else! Gah, I’m sorry Enlightened, for not doing my part and advertising your show like crazy across social media.

  17. Rachel Ciavarello says:

    HBO has totally let me down. I am so disappointed. The best show on tv. I agree – big fail HBO!

  18. Jenn Hilston says:

    Terrible news! I felt Enlightened was the best show on TV by far. Amazingly complex characters and provocative yet realistic writing. So sad about this. I hope they can find another network…there’s so much left to tell! Big fail, HBO!

  19. John says:

    This is so stupid on HBO’s part I can’t believe it. It’s as bad a move as canceling The Comeback after one season. Enlightened was one of the best shows that I have ever seen for writing, acting and story. I only hope that Mike White and Laura Dern go to another network with this show if possible. The characters can’t die like this!!! I’m so sad about this. And doesn’t HBO realize that no one watches shows during their actual air times???!!!

  20. Michelle says:

    I would have hoped HBO had more cojones to stand by such an outstanding show with solid characters, wonderful storytelling, and an incredibly talented cast. Enlightened was a truly original series, and I loved how much heart they put into it.

  21. Tina says:

    I feel deprived! Bad call, HBO! There’s got to be a third season; how can we be dropped off now?? This cut is like losing a book on the subway before you’ve finished the culminating chapters.
    Many of my “over 40” girlfriends watched this show and loved these characters. This is one show we discussed repeatedly.
    What do we do now? Chase down Mike White for the unshot scripts to see how this story is to play out?

    Can OWN (Oprah) pick up this show? I’d buy a subscription to her channel just to to see this series….

  22. Phyllis Moberly says:

    This is extremely unfortunate news and I believe short-sighted on HBO’s part. A little more publicity/advertising might have helped keep an original, engaging show on the air. HBO, think again!

  23. Joanna Bloem says:

    I am very disappointed. ENLIGHTENED was an amazing show: great concept, good writing, fabulous performances and production values. It dared to be about something larger and more important than girlish sex or boyish violence.

  24. Kamala Lopez says:

    Such a bummer. Best show on TV :(

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