HBO Comedy Series Effectively Canceled After Season 2

HBO is likely saying goodbye to the follow-up to Veep once its second season premieres in the fall. After being delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Armando Iannucci's Avenue 5 seems set to return in one final voyage.

While the network has not officially canceled the show, the contracts for members of the cast had come to an end without extension, and they have been released from the series. This includes the main star Hugh Laurie, Josh Gad, Rebecca Front, and others.

The show had been renewed for a second season in February 2020, right before the pandemic took grip globally. The production on the series resumed in August 2021, finishing in November for a premiere at some point this year. Deadline notes that a potential date will be in the fall.

The dark space comedy follows the crew and passengers of a luxury space cruise ship that faces peril after the death of the chief engineer joins a growing list of problems that eventually send the cruise off course, extending the trip home from eight weeks to three years. Not only that, but Laurie's captain is just an actor, with the true crew running the ship from the bowels while the crew above pretends to be in control.

The end of season one saw some darker turns and a few prescient moments, including some people questioning their reality and killing themselves in the airlock. If the show had been released by HBO only a few months later, folks would be talking about the parallels from the daily life of the pandemic. A mishap also sends the ship off course more, extending the trip from three years to eight.


Hopefully, the series can give those still aboard for the story a fitting conclusion, but we'll have to wait until the premiere to find out. It joins other big swings by TV comedy veterans in near-cancellation, like Greg Daniels and Steve Carell's Space Force and Seth MacFarlane's The Orville at Hulu. The latter is returning for a third season, but there is no guarantee that this won't be its final voyage.