HBO announced Wednesday the cancellation of the 1970’s rock & roll drama, Vinyl, after one season on the network.
This was an unexpected announcement, considering the second season of Vinyl had been already been renewed days after the Season 1 premiere in February.
“After careful consideration, we have decided not to proceed with a second season of Vinyl. Obviously, this was not an easy decision. We have enormous respect for the creative team and cast for their hard work and passion on this project.”
The HBO series was focused on the music recording business in 1973 in New York. The story follows music label owner Richie Finestra (Bobby Cannavale) as he works to save his company in an age of spectacular excess.
Richie struggles to save his music label while trying to steer clear of the bad influences constantly surrounding him. Vinyl has drugs, murder, nudity, violence, music, sex — all of the ingredients for the perfect drama series — but after the series two hour premiere, the episodes sort of fell flat.
The series was created by Mick Jagger, Terence Winter, and Martin Scorsese. Season 1 premiered with an all-star cast starring Bobby Cannavale, Olivia Wilde, Paul Ben-Victor, Mick Jagger’s son James Jagger, and Ray Romano.
Vinyl had a nearly two-decade development history, with Scorsese and Jagger originally making a film. After the series had been developed and set up with HBO, Terence Winter was brought in as a writer and executive producer.
In addition to being his third collaboration with HBO, Vinyl marked Winter’s third team-up with executive producer Martin Scorsese. The two previously worked together on HBO’s Boardwalk Empire and on the film The Wolf of Wall Street.
Although the series received a lot of attention and high praises during the weeks of the first few episodes airing, Vinyl did not see ratings that ended up living up to the pre-launch fanfare. After the first episode aired, the show continued to see disappointing reviews.
Here is the trailer for Season 1 of Vinyl.
Vinyl cost a reported $100 million to produce Season 1. Viewership was only between 570,000 and 760,000 for the Season 1 premiere episode. It seemed the series was struggling to connect with viewers and keep them coming back each week. It probably did not help that the average age of Vinyl’s creative team was 62. The network ultimately decided to pull the plug on production.
If you want to watch Season 1 of Vinyl, episodes are still available on HBO.
To see how production recreated the 70’s Vinyl set check out this behind-the-scenes video. Watch as they bring viewers back to the disco era with skinny glam rockers, tight spandex, and scrunchies.
Game of Thrones, HBO’s front runner and most popular original drama series, is soon coming to a season’s end. Without the renewal of Vinyl, HBO faces the potential of being overshadowed by other networks in the competitive space for drama series.
Vinyl is yet another tarnished drama series cancelled by HBO. After Season 2 of the HBO series, True Detective, was a huge flunk with the ratings, it seems HBO is in need of some inspiration of an enticing new drama series.
HBO has also un-renewed original series like Luck and The Brink.
Vinyl’s cancellation signals that TV competition is as tough as ever. There are more series than ever to choose from with streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon.
Although Vinyl was set to be a raging hit for HBO, especially with the rise in popularity of reboot/revival television, the show just did not see the success that it needed. HBO would rather cut it’s losses with Vinyl cancelling the series after the first season and create a new drama series from scratch.
[Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Staff/Getty Images]