HBO Cancels Comedy Series After Two Seasons

Armando Innucci's follow-up to Veep has been canceled by HBO. As Deadline reports, Avenue 5 had a strong first season and build to season 2, but was sidelined by the COVID-19 pandemic. The show was noted as likely to be canceled in a report eight months before the official announcement.

"Going to space with Armando Iannucci has been an incredible journey. While we will not be moving forward with a third season of Avenue 5, we look forward to many more adventures together," an HBO spokesperson said, according to Deadline.

It is the latest series to reach its end under the Warner Bros. Discovery regime, an era that has so far been defined by cuts and projects being placed in a vault. Avenue 5 hasn't been removed from HBO Max yet, but it is possible in the future if its fate is similar to other HBO and HBO Max originals.

The series initially premiered in Jan. 2020, earning a swift renewal for season 2 a month after its premiere. Then the pandemic came, pushing production on the series to August 2021 and wrapping in November.

It was then another year until the new season would premiere, dropping on HBO starting in Oct. 2022. Part of the reason why Avenue 5's future was practically cemented before the premiere is related to the cast options in their contracts lapsing. Series star Hugh Laurie was already added to season 3 of AppleTV+'s Tehran.

The end of season 2 does stand as a potential series finale in a way, fitting with the hopeless absurdity that peppered the entire run. The series followed the "captain" of a luxury space cruise, played by Hugh Laurie, who was thrust into a real leadership situation after the accidental death of the ship's chief engineer sent them off course by a few degrees. This is not good as it will now take three years to return to Earth instead of the planned eight-week cruise.

Alongside Laurie, the series starred Josh Gad as the billionaire owner of the ship, Zach Woods from Silicon Valley as the customer relations head on the cruise, Rebecca Front as Karen Kelly, the resident Karen on the ship, Lenora Crichlow, Suzy Nakamura, Nikki Amuka-Bird and Ethan Phillips. Himesh Patel, Jessica St. Clair, Andy Buckley, Daisy May Cooper, and many others make up the recurring cast.

Hopefully, the series remains on HBO Max for a bit of time if the eventual plan is to remove it. Fans of Veep and Iannucci's other work can find plenty to appreciate on the series. It also has plenty of parallels with reality, especially when it comes to the pandemic, global warming, and the general trend of leadership on Earth.