HBO Max cancels and is removing Westworld, Love Life, The Nevers and Minx

In April of this year, Warner Bros and Discovery merged to the tune of $43 billion. The amount of programming that fell under their umbrella was ridiculous. Of course, when you allow one entity to control that much of something, they are going to screw it up. Enter David Zaslav, the CEO of Warner Bros. Discovery (WBD). Zaslav is vying for the most hated person in media, apparently. His current target is what should be his flagship, HBO. After years of restructuring their programming and major hits dominating the market, Zaslav is gutting HBO in what he’s calling budget cuts. Not only did he lay off 14% of the staff in August and told France they can’t have HBO Max anymore, now he’s tearing up our favorite shows. Last month, Westworld got the ax. Monday, it was announced they would be shelving The Nevers, Minx and Love Life.

Warner Bros. Discovery (WBD) is continuing to strip HBO Max of content as part of its cost-saving measures, with recently canned Westworld pulled and sci-fi drama The Nevers and comedies Love Lifeand Minx cancelled.

The decisions were made as HBO Max undergoes an end-of-year financial review by WBD, prompting the cuts as the media giant attempts to reach its savings target.

HBO sci-fi drama Westworld was axed last month after four seasons. Once a ratings and awards draw for the network, the series has seen declining viewership and – as a high-cost production – comes as WBD looks to make $3.5bn in savings following the $43bn merger between WarnerMedia and Discovery.

Fellow sci-fi drama The Nevers, meanwhile, aired the first half of its first season in 2021, with Deadline reporting that the show will now conclude the season on another WBD platform, with the final episode written so as to conclude the show entirely. The US trade said that existing episodes of Westworld are also expected to find a new home on another WBD service, potentially in the FAST space.

HBO Max has meanwhile cancelled Love Life, dropping the show after two seasons. The romantic comedy anthology was the first original scripted series for the streamer and will now be removed from the platform entirely.

Minx, the 1970s-set comedy series which launched on HBO Max earlier this year, has also been dropped by the platform after one season. The second season has nearly completed production, however, and producer-distributor Lionsgate TV plans to find both seasons of the show a new home.

“We have enjoyed a good partnership with HBO Max and are working closely to find a new opportunity for Minx, so current, and new viewers, can continue this journey with us,” said Lionsgate TV.

These latest cancellations and show removals come just days after HBO Max pulled comedy series Gordita Chronicles from the service and cancelled Sweet Life: Los Angeles after two seasons.

[From Television Business International]

As the article said, Minx is almost finished filming. Although it’s not HBO, Zaslav is also the guy who refused to release Batgirl after it had been filmed. So riddle me that, Batman – how exactly does not earning money off things you’ve spent money on make your target? I’m sure it’s all taxes, distribution and promotion numbers. Or that’s what they’re telling themselves. What I see is a bunch of female fronted programming disappearing. Maybe don’t spend $43 billion to eat up and homogenize half of network programming, there’s some financial advice for you.

I’m not going to miss Westworld, I never made it past the second episode. But I know it was popular and people were not happy with it being cancelled. I haven’t watched The Nevers. It’s a Joss Whedon show so I won’t say I’m glad it’s not coming back, because there are actors and crew losing jobs, but so is Joss Whedon sooo… However, I do watch both Love Life and Minx and I am upset about them. I appreciated Love Life because they showed the protagonist maturing into their ultimate relationship. It felt organic. Even though I wanted to clobber both Darby and Marcus so many times, I related to many of their mistakes. I understood their messy and the messiness of their friends and lovers. Some of their exes weren’t bad people, just immature or rudderless. It was a good examination of someone’s romantic evolution. But Minx is going to break my heart if it doesn’t find a new home. It’s well written and the characters feel like friends. Don’t get me started on the set-design – I thought I was watching home movies. Not the Minx offices, of course, my folks weren’t nudists. But the homes and buildings. And it was another brilliant vehicle for Jake Johnson we’re losing (RIP Stumptown). I haven’t even broken the news to my husband yet. He just asked me Friday when Minx was coming back. I have never routed for Lionsgate more.

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

19 Responses to “HBO Max cancels and is removing Westworld, Love Life, The Nevers and Minx”

Comments are Closed

We close comments on older posts to fight comment spam.

  1. Steph says:

    I have yet to see a logical explanation for puking Westworld from the platform all together and not releasing Batgirl. These aren’t just cancellations, no one is going to show too what was already done. I think the only savings here is fucking over (mostly women) on the residual front.

  2. Becks1 says:

    I think what’s weird isn’t just that they’re being canceled, but that they’re removing them from the streaming platform entirely. I was reading comments somewhere yesterday about this (maybe twitter) and people were discussing looking for those shows on blu-rays/DVDs. It will be interesting to see if more streamers follow this model of removing series entirely and if so, if it leads to an uptick in DVD sales.

    We watched the first two seasons of Westworld. Loved the first season, thought the second one was meh, and just never bothered watching the third.

    • Concern Fae says:

      Another big part of the issue is that studios are not putting out DVDs and other physical media, in order to boost the value of their properties in streaming negotiations.

      Some of the Warner strategy is also writing these properties as tax losses and taking the deductions. Hollywood is notorious for using accounting methods that say nothing is profitable. If studios can essentially make money by destroying the films and shows that previous regimes made, they’ll do it. Congress needs to act to make sure this doesn’t become a profit center for these corporations who have taken over Hollywood creative product. It’s not just some failed product launch, it’s art and a part of our culture.

    • C says:

      It IS weird. I think it’s because of the desire to leave them unfinished.

    • DeniseMich says:

      I understand he is disposing unaired content and then saying he is making savings. It should be illegal.

      It is like me saying I spent 400k on a house, didn’t finish building it. The house is now worth 1 million dollars and I want my tax break on it. There is no house what am I assessing? I just threw away money.

      The concerning thing is the content that he is valuing or maintaining is in service to White Middle America. HBO was known for risque content and he is killing the brand.

      So, it may never be profitable again.

  3. Steph says:

    I haven’t seen any logical explanation for puking Westworld entirely and not releasing Batgirl. WW wasnt just cancelled, they are pulling it off the platform all together so it can’t be watched at all. The only thing that makes sense to me is that they’ll save by not having to pay and therefore fucking over (mostly women) actors residuals for their work.

  4. StellainNH says:

    I really loved The Nevers and was looking forward to another season. How disappointing!!

    • AngelaH says:

      I loved The Nevers. It has a fantastic cast and despite not wanting to support Joss Whedon, it was a glorious show. I have been bugging HBO on Facebook about getting a release date for the rest of the first season. Now I will probably need yet another streaming service to watch the rest.

      • dj says:

        The Nevers was a great female lead show. I can’t remember the lead actress (I’m too lazy to look it up) she is so, so good. Loved it. Hate Joss Whedon. I had a feeling this one would not come back unfortunately.

  5. Lady Baden-Baden says:

    Shame re. Love Life in particular – I really enjoyed season 2 – big improvement on the first season so I had high hopes for a third.

    To be honest, I’m surprised Westworld lasted as long as it did but I’m shocked they’re removing all these shows entirely.

  6. North of Boston says:

    I noticed a couple months ago that shows on HBO Max that I liked started disappearing. At first it was episodes that would drop away, like I’d be working my way through over a course of a couple weeks and sometimes the next episode would be unavailable when it was listed just a few days before. Then seasons started dropping out, then entire shows would be gone. It was getting frustrating and one day I was like “why bother with this service” and just dropped it.

    Are they the same outfit behind the whole Discovery+ thing? When that came out and it was being pushed *constantly* on ALL their networks, even though I may have found some of the content interesting it was just so obnoxious I was never going to sign up for it … constant marketing and … is hegemony the right word? … of programming.

    it’s seems like either an absolute idiot is at the helm, or it’s someone with incredibly bad and maybe misogynistic* taste, or it’s a purposeful move for tax strategy and exec bonus optimization. None of that is how you build or maintain a brand, someone else is going to bounce you. Just a shame all the creative effort being jettisoned or vaulted away.

    Did someone by chance open a multiverse portal to The Planet of the Chaos Trolls? Because our timeline and verse is thick with them at the moment.

  7. Kiera says:

    I feel like they are getting rid of a lot of the adult thought provoking movies/shows.

    I know a lot of people have up in Westworld but my husband and I watched every episode and it became this amazing meditation of what it is to be human and the cost of freedom.

    I feel like they’re trying to gut it if anything that runs counter to some weird fanboy/conservative thought process.

  8. Nicegirl says:

    Yes please don’t cancel these important female centered muy importante shows!! We need more more more of this content Babes!! Loved 💕 Minx, LoveLife was amazing like NOooo 😔

  9. Lolalola says:

    So disappointing! I loved Minx. I’ve watched, rewatched and every time laugh my head off. Such great characters and so well written. I did like the Nevers but it certainly wasn’t as clever as Minx. Either way, both programs were worth watching.

  10. Chantal says:

    What bs is this? Wasn’t their extensive catalog used as one of the main selling points to subscribe to HBOMax after the dud that was HBONow? I definitely remember Westworld being featured in their ads. Now previously popular shows are essentially being wiped from public consciousness for a reason and it highly doubtful its a positive reason.
    What platform does Mr. GutEverything think pissed off viewers will subscribe to/pay money for? Many people are cutting expenses and streaming services are usually the first to go. Discovery+ is basically “fetch” but they really tried and failed to make it a streaming giant to compete with Netflix.
    Zaslav has been making a lot of disastrous and costly business decisions recently and i don’t know why the board hasn’t dumped him yet. I hope he is just an ignoramus and horrible businessman and not the template for future business models. If so, I might as well go back to cable.

    • Moira's Rose's Garden says:

      He’s the same guy who changed TLC from The Learning Channel to The Leering Channel. He’s burning down everything because he will get a $150M bonus if the company fails or is sold. His move is straight out of a Bain Capital playbook.
      As far as diverse shows being cancelled, it’s not surprising given that his daughter is a producer at Cable Nazi Network (CNN).

      • KASalvy says:

        You nailed it. Zaslav gets his payout for full term regardless of if he gets fired a year in.

        Instead of 10 years work for millions, he can burn it all down for 3 years and still get paid the full amount. Most of us in this industry knew this as soon as he started cancelling shows.

  11. Jennifer says:

    Rather glad I wasn’t paying for HBO Max now. Removing the streaming shows entirely is just shitty. I expect cancellation, but not total removal.

  12. Sass says:

    I’m disappointed but not surprised about Westworld. We loved it the first two seasons but I quickly abandoned it in season three. I enjoy the Nolan brothers and was really hoping Jonathan would find his way back with this series. I know it was based on a book but the “part two” didn’t translate well.