Another Cartoon Network Show Pulled by HBO Max Without Warning

The Cartoon Network purge continues with Clarence, as HBO Max has seemingly removed it from the platform. Users of the streaming service started to notice the animated show's absence around Dec. 5. The following day, the Animation on HBO Max Twitter account confirmed their fears."'CLARENCE' appears to have vanished from HBO Max in the U.S. overnight without any prior notice," the account tweeted. "The show is still available to stream on Hulu, the Cartoon Network app, and on HBO Max in Latin America and Europe. Reruns also return to TV next week." The animated television series created by Skyler Page (a former storyboard artist for Adventure Time) for Cartoon Network ran from 2014-2018. The show revolved around the title character and his two best friends, Jeff and Sumo. On April 14, 2014, the series premiered to approximately 2.3 million viewers, outperforming shows of that same demographic in that time slot. The series' pilot was nominated for a Creative Arts Emmy. 

Clarence is the latest casualty as Warner Bros. Discovery continues its cost-cutting measures ahead of the merger of HBO Max and Discovery+ services next year. This unification involves the removal of 30 shows, including the Jennifer Coolidge-voiced animated series The Fungies! Creator Stephen P. Neary slammed HBO Max for pulling his project from the service. Neary, who has also worked on Cartoon Network's Clarence and animated feature films like Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs and Riotweeted on Aug. 18: "Last night during a figure drawing class I found out that The Fungies! was getting pulled from HBO Max this week. I'm heartbroken but I want to take this opportunity to thank all the amazing artists and production folks for their hard work on this sincere, fever dream of a show." The Fungies! is a comedy series that ran for three seasons and 80 episodes, with the third and final season premiering in December 2021 after the series' launch in August 2020. In this show, the protagonists live in the prehistoric and mythological metropolis of Fungietown, where bizarre creatures such as fungi and dinosaurs inhabit the world. Seth, one of the town's young mushroom inhabitants, often stirs trouble with the locals because of his love of scientific adventures. "We worked so hard through the pandemic, and I hoped that diligence would be rewarded with support from the network," Neary continued. 

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"[I] was promised the show would air on Cartoon Network, which would drive views to HBO Max, but soon after launch, the show was pulled from the air without notice. There was little to no promotion. Although I was graciously asked to speak on a mushroom podcast, a company representative monitored the taping so that I wouldn't give away any 'spoilers' to the show." According to him, the fact that "more well-known shows" are also being pulled indicates these are "uninformed, money-driven decisions. "My heart goes out to the other shows affected and the beautiful work getting canceled before even airing. I'm going to keep making stuff! Even if it's just for me. It's what I've always done since I was very, very little. Thanks, everyone," he continued. Neary is not the only latest animator to take to social media to criticize the decision to pull the shows. In a similar vein, Summer Camp Island creator Julia Pott expressed disappointment, saying HBO Max was removing the episodes "like we were nothing."