In arguably one of the wildest decisions that HBO has made in recent memory, Westworld has officially been canceled after four seasons. The once-famed sci-fi series was always meant to be one of the tentpoles shows that HBO had to offer, but waning audience ratings led to the ultimate decision to let go of the series completely.
Westworld was once a massive show, garnering a massive 54 Emmy nominations, with star Thandie Newton landing a Best Supporting Actress win. However, audiences began to comment on the consulted storylines that didn’t quite line up, and there not being a clear-cut character that was supposed to be the “hero” of the series. Seasons 3 and 4 of the show have also received ratings in the low 70% area for critics, and much worse 60% and 50% areas for audiences.
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Jonathan Nolan, co-creator of Westworld, had recently been interviewed about the series, stating, “We always planned for a fifth and final season.” However, HBO decided to end that dream early, as the series was not hitting the numbers that the network is typically known for. The cancelation could also stem from the Warner Bros. Discovery merger, and the company needs to cut the programs that aren’t living up to expectations.
Westworld Season 1 is arguably one of the best first seasons of any drama, which also included one of the best endings, as Anthony Hopkins’s character kills himself letting loose his own A.I. creations on the world. However, after that, the series seemed lost in its delivery to showcase a world where artificial intelligence was no longer subservient. What makes this even odder is that HBO and most other major networks typically allow their bigger shows an ending, and Westworld Season 4 ended on a massive cliffhanger.
Fans become naturally upset when this happens, much like what happened with Deadwood. However, a Deadwood movie was put together 13 years after the series had initially ended. We are not saying that HBO would do the same for Westworld, but another network might want to swoop in and pick up the sci-fi series to give it it’s rightful ending.
CEO of Warner Bros. Discovery, David Zaslav, has made it known that he was responsible for cutting around $3 billion from the current budget of the media conglomerate. Canceling Westworld was likely not a tough decision, as the series has been in decline now for the past three seasons. Granted, the second season was nowhere near as badly rated as the third and fourth, but HBO likely expected more from such an ambitious show.
Westworld had a ton of promise and a cast that included Ed Harris, Thandie Newton, Evan Rachel Wood, Edgar Wright, Aaron Paul, James Marsden, and so many more. It is a bit disappointing that the series never quite found the right direction to go after the wild first season. Again, we could be seeing more of this sci-fi epic in movie form, but that would be up to HBO wanting to sell the rights to said movie at some point in the future.