HBO canceled Gentleman Jack after two seasons.
The period drama, starring British actress Suranne Jones, ended its run on HBO just over a month ago, but will not have a third season.
Deadline (opens in new tab) reports that the drama, which HBO made alongside the BBC, was among the lowest rated in terms of ratings and the network made the decision to turn on the show.
Created by Sally Wainwright, whose credits include Happy Valley and Last Tango In Halifax, Gentleman Jack told the story of Anne Lister, an entrepreneur and innovator in northern England in the 1830s.
The show began with Lister returning to his hometown of Halifax with plans to restore his uncle’s ownership of Shibden Hall. Expected to submit to fellow men, Lister begins to make her mark as a fearsome housewife and businesswoman after she discovers she’s been sitting on a large amount of coal.
An androgynous dress and an LGBTQ+ pioneer, Lister not only sought new fortune, but also a wealthy heiress named Ann Walker, who was played by Peaky Blinders’ Sophie Rundle.
The show was based on extensive diaries that Lister kept during his lifetime, which contained over four million words and were written largely in secret code as they documented a number of clandestine relationships. After working on the diaries, Wainwright created the series.
In a statement to Deadline, an HBO spokesperson said: “HBO will not be moving forward with a third season of Gentleman Jack. When we began this journey over five years ago, we knew that series creator Sally Wainwright had a unique and compelling vision, and it has been tremendously gratifying to see how Anne Lister’s journey has resonated with viewers.”
They continued: “We are incredibly grateful to Sally, the impeccable Suranne Jones and Sophie Rundle, and the entire cast and crew for bringing Anne and Ann’s story to life. We would also like to thank our partners at the BBC and Lookout Point. for their collaboration on two notable seasons.”
Wainwright had recently spoken about his hopes of continuing the story, telling newsweek (opens in new tab)that she had five more years of Lister’s life to explore, but unless another network or streaming service comes along, that will unfortunately not be possible.
Did critics like Gentleman Jack?
They did. Good reviews, both from critics and audiences that Gentleman Jack had, were plentiful.
The show has a 92% rating on Rotten Tomatoes for Critics (opens in new tab), and even more 93% with audiences. It’s not like there’s any drop in season two, with the critical rating for it at 95%.
Critics highly praised Jones and Wainwright’s writing, as well as the show’s narrative choices and its unique take on a period drama.
Everyone who saw it loved it, but clearly there weren’t enough people.
Analysis: A sign of tighter times for HBO?
Earlier this year, Warner Media, HBO’s parent company, merged with Discovery, and there have been plenty of industry reports about the stern eye new CEO David Zaslav is taking on the company’s balance sheet.
It’s the second time in recent days that the network has made a cancellation, with a new starred version of The Time Traveler’s Wife canceled after a single season at the end of last week.
The network is spending a massive sum on its new adaptation of The Last Of Us, which is expected to cost upwards of $150 million, and has just spent an eye-watering sum to make House of The Dragon, which is about to be released. launched on the market. .
Additionally, the network’s two hits, Euphoria and Succession, are ramping up for their third and fourth seasons, respectively, and talent for these shows, with their large casts, will get much more expensive.
HBO has already shut down Demimonde, JJ Abrams’ first solo television creation since his original hit Alias, which was budgeted over $200 million.
With a relatively small audience and an expensive list of upcoming projects, it seems likely that Gentleman Jack’s death was purely down to cost cutting, as no one could accuse him of failing creatively.
It’s been a busy year for cancellations, read about everything canceled by Netflix here.