HBO Cancels Enlightened After Two Seasons

Get More: Cancellations

Enlightened Cancelled By HBO Laura Dern Mike WhiteAmy Jellicoe’s path to enlightenment may continue, but not on your TV screen.

HBO has cancelled Mike White and Laura Dern’s critically adored-yet-ratings challenged dramedy Enlightened, TVLine has confirmed.

“It was a very difficult decision,” the pay cabler said in a statement. “We’re proud of the show and we look forward to working with Mike White and Laura Dern in the future.

For his part, White — who co-created (and appeared in) the series with Dern — was prepared for such a sad outcome.

Knowing the last episode of Season 2 might also be Enlightened‘s series finale, White previously told TVLine he made sure that Dern’s character  emerged triumphant from her showdown with disgraced Abaddon CEO Charles Szidon. “It was important to me that when she finally has this ultimate confrontation with power, that she manages to be eloquent,” he said. “Otherwise, the whole thing feels like it’s a fool’s errand. It’s important that in the end, Amy’s not a fool. She certainly lets her emotional reaction to things override her intellectual side, or the ability to have a more nuanced reading of situations, but in the end there’s something pure and important in her mission.”

The news was first reported by Buzzfeed.



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Comments (74)

  • Whatever HBO.

    Comment by anthonynewhall – March 19, 2013 04:59 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Yep, of course. “They” didn’t like the empowerment aspect putting ideas in people’s heads. The show was great, fast moving, believable characters, chemistry and charm.

      Comment by ohmmm – March 20, 2013 09:17 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Enlightened was a great show. We need it back! Or more like it! Loved it and Laura Dern and Mike White!!!!

        Comment by Ro – February 25, 2014 03:27 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Soooooooo disappointed. in YOU tv semi, want-a-bee big shot WHY WHY WHY??? The show was award winning, great acting, story line, etc. WHA, DID YOU DISAPPOINT SOME CORPORATE MOGULS, OR MAJOR POLITICAL FIGURES. 9greed) IS THIS THE US, OR SOME FASCIST, OR SOCIALIST STATE AND HOW DARE WE POKE FUN OF OR QUESTION MOTIVES OF ‘THE POWERS THAT BE’. government and corporate) YOU HAVE “NO BALLS, AND YOU OF MICRO-MINI-DICKS”. IT WAS A GREAT SHOW !! VERY SAD INDEED YOU ARE…… BRING THE SHOW BACK, OR SELL TO ANOTHER NETWORK ………I WILL CERTAINLY MISS THIS PROGRAM……shame, shame, shame on you. PUT AWAY YOUR ELECTRONIC GADGETS< AND GET IN CONTACT VIA PEOPLE FACE TO FACE…and relate . Have 60s-70s state of mind you 80-90s egomaniac narcissist…Bah-Humbug, Booooooo Jan.20,2014

      Comment by Lynette King – January 20, 2014 06:11 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I just watched both seasons in a few days. Home with a broken leg, I was looking for something interesting to watch. Who knew this show was SO FREAKING GREAT??
      What a HUGE mistake to cancel the series!! It is truly brilliant, well-written, great acting, funny, sad, hysterical, sweet, so smart, runs the gamet of emotions. Some station somewhere needs to pick it up and bring it back to life. Hey SHOWTIME, you are smart, wake up and grab the show!!!

      Comment by Barbara – April 9, 2014 11:44 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Sigh.

    Comment by Eric – March 19, 2013 04:59 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Aw. That’s too bad. I really liked this one – charmingly different and creative.

    Comment by Annie – March 19, 2013 05:00 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • This seemed evident from the beginning of season. HBO did very little publicity for show…and it’s the only one you can’t find on HBO On Demand.

    Comment by g2-68b98c60dce86004d88674460f66cbc3 – March 19, 2013 05:06 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I watch it on demand. Comcast.

      Comment by rebecca – March 19, 2013 06:01 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • It was a very bad decision!! HBO should expect a lot of hate letters now!

    Comment by Joseph – March 19, 2013 05:06 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • It’s nice to know that your priorities are in order Joseph.

      Comment by Tania – March 19, 2013 05:30 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • It was the HBO show with the fewest amount of viewers. I’m sure HBO is terrified at the prospect of hate mail from such a small group.

      Comment by JC – March 19, 2013 09:36 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Now cancel ‘Girls’!

    Comment by tvjunkiejason – March 19, 2013 05:08 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Girls is my favourite show, you’re an idiot. You should stop watching TV.

      Comment by Cas (@sp0okymulder) – March 30, 2013 11:08 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • girls is the most stupid idioitic show i have ever watched and i didnt get past the first few shows. what a dump. cant believe the public likes it.

        Comment by jan – September 25, 2013 01:10 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Not only am I annoyed at this cancellation for a show that was far superior to Girls this season, I was planning to cancel my HBO subscription after Game of Thrones finished anyhow. This will make my decision easier.

    Comment by Davey – March 19, 2013 05:10 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Difficult decision? That show was terrible. There were like 2 good episodes, and one of them was when Laura Dern’s godawful character wasnt in it at all. So glad I don’t have to watch it anymore.

    Comment by Jessica – March 19, 2013 05:10 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Someone was forcing you to watch it? Perhaps you should contact the police.

      Comment by Geo – March 19, 2013 08:31 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Actual LOL at this!

        Comment by Dizzle – March 20, 2013 03:12 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Really? You were made to watch it. That was a ridiculous comment. You do have a tv that can change channels, right?

      Comment by len – March 21, 2013 01:06 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • That’s why you should pay for your own cable subscription. That way you can watch anything you want and not watch shows that you think are terrible. Get a job, maybe.

      Comment by Jane – August 16, 2013 10:42 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • What a shame! Ugh… I feel like it needed a better lead-in than GIRLS. I didn’t really understand that pairing for a programming perspective, at all. And this is coming from a fan of GIRLS – and a fan of Enlightened via HBOGo.

    Comment by Ken (@whataboutken) – March 19, 2013 05:11 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Oh who cares? There’s tons of good television on–stop whining.

    Comment by StupidPeopleShutUp – March 19, 2013 05:11 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • You know what? Adhere to your name!

      Comment by ee – March 19, 2013 06:57 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Should we get a Kickstarter campaign going? :P

    Comment by M – March 19, 2013 05:12 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Yes please!! I absolutely loved this show. There was nothing like it on TV and I am sad to see it go.

      Comment by Cammy – March 19, 2013 05:23 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • We definitely need to encourage Mike White to launch a campaign! There are hundreds of thousands of fans worldwide! And I don’t see why a movie would cost too much, like Veronica Mars. This NEEDS to happen!

      Comment by Ryan – March 19, 2013 08:27 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Yes! The only reason I subscribed to HBO was for Enlightened. I rarely follow any series, but I looked forward to this one for the insightful writing, multidimensional characters, Everything about this series is beautiful and intelligent, heartfelt, I will cancel HBO if Enlightened is cancelled.

      Comment by Becca – March 24, 2013 01:25 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • I was shocked tonite when I checked to see if Season 3 was coming on soon, and I didn’t see a listing for the show. This was the only series I chose to watch on HBO, but I guess it was too “englightening” for the average viewer and perhaps too threatening for the execs at HBO. I may cancel my subscription, too.

        Comment by Irene Wright – June 23, 2013 07:47 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Nobody watched it because it didn’t work. The cast was good but the show didn’t come together. Sometimes shows get canceled. Get over yourselves already.

    Comment by StupidPeopleShutUp – March 19, 2013 05:14 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • My heart has literally just broken into a thousand different pieces.

    Comment by Rrrrrr – March 19, 2013 05:22 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • You’d be dead right now, and unable to type, if that literally happened.

      Comment by JC – March 19, 2013 09:40 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • You know you have a bad show when not even Jason Mantzoukas can make it funny.

    Comment by Zachary – March 19, 2013 05:28 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Liked this show on and off but at least the send off would work as a series finale.

    Comment by Amanda – March 19, 2013 05:30 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Sad to see it go! :(

    Comment by Andrew – March 19, 2013 05:37 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Enlightened was one of those shows that you either liked or disliked. There was no in between. I truly hated this series. It just didn’t work.

    Comment by Tania – March 19, 2013 05:41 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Yet they renewed Girls….sigh.

    Comment by Gerald – March 19, 2013 05:54 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Boooo!! I just discovered this show this year and caught up On Demand right before season 2 and watched season 2 every week. It was a good ending, but there was so much they could have told in season 3!!

    Comment by kates2424 – March 19, 2013 05:58 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Enlightened is my favorite show. I know it’s kind of polarizing, but I loved watching Amy and Tyler and Levi struggle to change and connect. It’s such a weird and beautiful work of television. It will be dearly missed. There is nothing else like it.

    Comment by Viv – March 19, 2013 06:04 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Cancel Girls. Boooooo HBO is the worst!!!!!! Enlightened was so good. Such Garbage. Netflix should pick it up

    Comment by Jo – March 19, 2013 06:05 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Great show, Mike White! I’m glad that many of the unresolved threads were tied up in the final episode.

    Comment by gasagasagirl – March 19, 2013 06:12 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!

    Comment by Gogo – March 19, 2013 06:38 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Ugh. The MOST disappointing television news in a long time. HBO does it again. First, The Comeback and now Enlightened.

    Comment by YowzaPowza – March 19, 2013 06:53 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I sometimes wonder what HBO wants in cases like this. When you look at actual viewership, it doesn’t do that much worse than Girls, it’s just much less buzzy.

      Comment by YowzaPowza – March 19, 2013 06:57 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Another show with great writing and complex characters bites the dust. On the other hand maybe Rickey Gervais had the right idea by limiting the longevity of his great series plural.

    Comment by dani n. – March 19, 2013 06:54 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Well HBO if it makes me dopey to care about things other than ratings … Then I’m a F’n moron

    Comment by Ryan – March 19, 2013 07:08 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Slightly off topic – does the media like Girls more than the viewing public? I have HBO on a promotion and couldn’t finish an episode.

    Comment by forwarddad – March 19, 2013 07:09 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I think so. I barely made it through the pilot, and found that the show had 0 interesting characters. The dialogue was ridiculous, and I don’t get their obsession with cupcakes.

      Comment by Zachary – March 20, 2013 05:20 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • What’s with all of the spiteful jealousy about Girls. This decision has nothing to do with Girls. How small-minded can you get?

    Comment by TV Gord – March 19, 2013 07:12 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I can’t speak for anyone else, but for me, Enlightened is at the very least, on an equal level as Girls. Girls had a very uneven second season, while Enlightened’s was fully realized to near perfection. HBO is supposed to be about quality over quantity. If we can’t rely on HBO to keep shows like this on air, we can’t count on anyone unless ratings are massive. Bottom line: it’s just disappointing. It was a great show.

      Comment by YowzaPowza – March 19, 2013 07:21 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • No argument, but if enough people aren’t watching, even HBO will cancel it. Despite its slogan, HBO IS just TV.

        Comment by TV Gord – March 19, 2013 07:26 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Cancel Girls, keep Enlightened.

    Comment by Waitingsux – March 19, 2013 07:36 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Ah, so THIS is how small-minded you can get. Good to know.

    Comment by TV Gord – March 19, 2013 07:45 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I literally laughed at the comments about this being someone’s favorite show. You must have crap taste in TV if this is your favorite. Both this and Girls should have been flushed after season one. Both are crap. Good riddance.

    Comment by Chuck Finley (AJ) – March 19, 2013 08:26 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I love when someone who clearly hates women dismisses two separate shows-which have little in common other than strong, complex and at times downright unlikeable female leads and a paid cable network- with one swoop of his hairy knuckled paw. God forbid, any TV show where women don’t look like plastic sex dolls and aren’t simpering around wiping the assess of their fat fool husbands or smarmy Central Casting kids. SNORE.

      Comment by LeChatRouge – March 21, 2013 01:44 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • That’s disappointing. The idea of a sad Laura Dern makes me sad. She’s so talented, hope she lands somewhere new soon.

    Comment by mia – March 19, 2013 09:33 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Her mother with her facial expressions and consternation is what I will miss about a program I enjoyed.

    Comment by Ginger Snap – March 19, 2013 10:22 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I knew it would be cancelled after seeing how they renewed Girls so far in advance. Girls is better for their image, while Enlightened never had much buzz.

    Comment by Brad – March 19, 2013 11:27 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I will miss this show!

      Comment by Brad – March 19, 2013 11:28 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I really could relate to the mother daughter relationship. Will miss this show, as it was so well done.

    Comment by Patricia Allan – March 20, 2013 12:42 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • HBO renewed Girls when it was like in its 3rd episode for its second season so they probably thought it would keep all its viewers and even build up. I bet they regret it NOW. LOL

    Comment by anil – March 20, 2013 12:47 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Another horrible thing to happen this year. One more season and out would have been fantastic.

    Comment by Donnie (@sleepless_ghost) – March 20, 2013 03:06 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Disappointed that more viewers didn’t tune in to keep this show around, these two seasons were fantastic television. But after how low ratings were for it’s first season I was surprised HBO renewed it, so I’m happy we at least got a second season and a decent resolution.

    Comment by Dizzle – March 20, 2013 03:16 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I really loved the show but I was disappointed that they wrote the end of Season 2 as kind of a shmaltzy, quickly thrown together series ending. It’s like they already gave up on the series continuing. I think it would have been hard to build a 3rd season on that kind of a 2nd season ending and they also boxed themselves into a corner, since they didn’t create the kind of plot openings that would have broadened the story beyond Abaddon and the small world of each of those characters in future seasons. It’s like the story was over. That disappoints me. I would have wanted a more hopeful, exciting end to season 2 to reflect the intensity of the series.

    Comment by Chris Lake – March 20, 2013 08:35 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I’m sad that Enlightened has been cancelled! It was well-written and I loved the characters. I hope that Mike White gets another show or a movie. I’d like to see whatever he does next.

    Comment by Laura B. – March 20, 2013 11:10 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I have not been interested in any HBO series since SIx Feet Under, HBO finally has a compelling show that is complete unique and they cancel it! Time to cancel my HBO AGAIN!!! Brilliant move,

    Comment by Bren – March 20, 2013 11:14 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Instead of people constantly comparing the two and complaining that Girls should be canceled why doesn’t everyone just shut up about them? If you enjoy the shows like i did, then its sad that Enlightened is done. But if you didn’t care for it, why are you even on here reading this site? Wouldn’t you rather be watching or discussing a program you did like? It just makes you seem ridiculous that you’re so caught up on something you didn’t even care for. It shouldn’t have affected you’re life that programs like that were on for those of us that enjoyed it. You can always change the channel or turn off the tv when they come on.

    Comment by len – March 21, 2013 01:18 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Enlightened sucked, such an annoying retarded show.

    Comment by Cas (@sp0okymulder) – March 30, 2013 11:08 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • DEVASTATED. :(

    Comment by Rachel Caldwell – March 30, 2013 02:19 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Excuse me, folks — Enlightened was cancelled because it was too political. It actually addressed what people are experiencing today & offered a story of individuals challenging the economic/political system that is stacked against everyone except the very rich & powerful — while conveying their very human struggles.

    Comment by myopix – April 27, 2013 09:26 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • So sad, loved the show

    Comment by Mary Fennell – June 26, 2013 07:26 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • HBO management has terrible taste.

    Comment by jay – August 17, 2013 06:39 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I can’t believe ENLIGHTENED was cancelled. What are those people thinking. It’s the best show I’ve seen in 20 years!

      Comment by sam – February 8, 2014 03:21 PM PDT  Reply To This Post

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