Hulu canceled the political comedy Woke after two seasons.
Released in the fall of 2020, Woke was loosely based on the life of its co-creator, Keith Knight, an American cartoonist and musician known for his accessible and subversive The K Chronicles comic strips.
He starred in Lamorne Morris – best known for his long-running role as Winston Bishop in the beloved comedy New Girl – as Keef, a black cartoonist on the cusp of mainstream success through his comic book series Toast & Butter. Keef prides himself on his comics being light and avoiding controversy or political content like the plague.
On the verge of signing a massive new publishing deal, Keef is then the victim of racial profiling by overly aggressive police officers and, unsurprisingly, traumatized. After the incident, Keef discovers that he is able to see and hear inanimate objects talking to him, as well as being more sensitive to racism, with everyday microaggressions that he has spent his life trying to avoid recognizing in every situation, suddenly pronounced. Now, literally ‘Awake’, Keef must live with his new reality.
The show, which was a mix of live-action and animation, had two eight-episode seasons on Hulu, one in 2020 and a second that premiered in April this year.
Starring alongside Morris were Blake Anderson, T. Murph, Rose McIver and Sasheer Zamata, with Eddie Griffin, Tony Hale, Sam Richardson, Jack McBrayer and Cedric the Entertainer appearing in voice-only roles.
Woke, which was a co-production for Hulu between Sony Pictures Television and ABC, was canceled on Friday.
No statement for its cancellation has been given yet, with Morris just issuing an ironic tweet over the weekend (opens in new tab)but the second season of the show was a troubled production with filming forced to close three times due to positive case of Covid-19s. This will no doubt have seen production costs skyrocket, and it looks like they’ve got plenty for a third season to lighten up. Which is a shame, because the critics really liked it.
What did the critics say?
The audience also liked the first run, giving it 87%, which seems like Woke fell into the trap that many shows fall into. Those who liked it really liked what was on offer, but no one else stuck around.
Hulu spends a lot on comedy as is, with The Orville, Only Murders In The Building and How I Met Your Father, while they recently shelled out on acquiring the Schitt’s Creek back catalogue. They’re also not shy about canceling things, with both the Shrill and Dollface comedies recently canceled. Once again, they both had a passionate fanbase and critics liked them, but they clearly didn’t win the audience that Hulu demands.
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