HBO cancels 'Vinyl' in about-face from earlier renewal

Inside look at Scorsese and Jagger's new HBO show 'Vinyl'
Inside look at Scorsese and Jagger's new HBO show 'Vinyl'

"Vinyl" won't be getting a "B" side, as HBO has pulled the plug on the expensive music series, whose creative pedigree included Mick Jagger as well as "Boardwalk Empire" collaborators Martin Scorsese and Terence Winter.

Although tune-in for the show was low even by pay-cable standards, HBO almost instantly renewed it for a second season. But the program -- about the music industry in the 1970s -- then exhibited signs of discord, with showrunner Winter opting to leave at the end of the first year over what were described as creative differences.

HBO issued a statement announcing the move, which stated, "Obviously, this was not an easy decision. We have enormous respect for the creative team and cast for their hard work and passion on this project."

The action also comes after a management change at the network, with the departure of entertainment president Michael Lombardo. Casey Bloys, who oversaw HBO's comedy development and late night, replaced him last month. (HBO, like CNN, is a division of Time Warner (TWX).)

RELATED: HBO names Casey Bloys president of programming

For HBO, the decision appears to be a case of not wanting to throw good money after bad. Usually, the network is reluctant not to give series at least two seasons, and has often been known to order a second run even before programs premiere, demonstrating that ratings aren't the sole criteria in measuring success.

Nevertheless, there have been instances where HBO has subsequently rescinded those extensions. In 2012, for example, the network canceled the horse-racing drama "Luck" after the death of several thoroughbred horses during the filming of the series.

Canceling "Vinyl" thins the ranks of HBO series heading into the coming TV season. Among the more anticipated offerings is the sci-fi drama "Westworld," which was previously delayed and has now been scheduled for the fall.

"Vinyl" starred Bobby Cannavale, with Olivia Wilde and Ray Romano among the large supporting cast. Beyond the talent, music rights contributed to the high cost of the period series. The Hollywood Reporter estimated HBO's investment in the first season at $100 million.


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