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HBO Cancels ‘Vinyl,’ Scrapping Plans for a Season 2 Revamp

HBO has scrapped plans for a second season of “Vinyl,” the 1970s-set music biz drama exec produced by Martin Scorsese and Mick Jagger.

The series starring Bobby Cannavale as a larger-than-life record mogul had a rough run in its first season earlier this year, drawing modest ratings and lukewarm reviews. Ray Romano, Olivia Wilde and Juno Temple co-starred.

“After careful consideration, we have decided not to proceed with a second season of ‘Vinyl.’ Obviously, this was not an easy decision,” HBO said in a statement. “We have enormous respect for the creative team and cast for their hard work and passion on this project.”

HBO gave the show a second season renewal after its premiere in February. But by the end of the series’ run in April, HBO announced a showrunner change for season two, with Scott Z. Burns replacing creator Terence Winter. Burns was still in the early stage of working out a blueprint for season two and had not turned in any scripts.

The decision to pull the plug entirely comes after HBO has undergone a big transition in its programming ranks. Last month, Michael Lombardo stepped down after nearly 10 years as programming president and was replaced by Casey Bloys, HBO’s former head of comedy.

It’s understood that in the final analysis, the decision was made that the budget that would have been allocated to revamping “Vinyl” would be better served on other pending projects.

Given its Scorsese-Jagger pedigree, expectations for “Vinyl” had been high leading up to the series premiere in February. But creative troubles were evident early on. In his review for Variety, Brian Lowry wrote that the two-hour series premiere “is a big, messy affair, sometimes mesmerizing, occasionally aggravating, providing a taste of what’s to come while feeling too caught up in stylistic flourishes. All told, this is a huge project that perhaps only HBO could deliver. But so far, the album isn’t quite as good as the liner notes.”

“Vinyl” joins the ranks of the most high-profile one-and-done cancellations in HBO history. In 2012, HBO pulled the plug on a second season of horse-racing drama “Luck” because of the deaths of two horses during production. And in 2008, HBO’s racy comedy “Tell Me You Love Me” was also axed even though it had been renewed for a second year. In 2007, “John from Cincinnati” made its series premiere with a lead-in from the high-rated series finale of “The Sopranos,” then was canceled two months later, the day after its first season ended.

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