HBO Cancels Enlightened After Two Seasons

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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    • ohmmm says:

      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.

    • Lynette King says:

      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

    • Barbara says:

      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!!!

  1. Annie says:

    Aw. That’s too bad. I really liked this one – charmingly different and creative.

  2. g2-68b98c60dce86004d88674460f66cbc3 says:

    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.

  3. Joseph says:

    It was a very bad decision!! HBO should expect a lot of hate letters now!

  4. Now cancel ‘Girls’!

  5. Davey says:

    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.

  6. Jessica says:

    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.

  7. 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.

  8. StupidPeopleShutUp says:

    Oh who cares? There’s tons of good television on–stop whining.

  9. M says:

    Should we get a Kickstarter campaign going? :P

    • Cammy says:

      Yes please!! I absolutely loved this show. There was nothing like it on TV and I am sad to see it go.

    • Ryan says:

      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!

    • Becca says:

      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.

      • Irene Wright says:

        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.

  10. StupidPeopleShutUp says:

    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.

  11. Rrrrrr says:

    My heart has literally just broken into a thousand different pieces.

  12. Zachary says:

    You know you have a bad show when not even Jason Mantzoukas can make it funny.

  13. Amanda says:

    Liked this show on and off but at least the send off would work as a series finale.

  14. Andrew says:

    Sad to see it go! :(

  15. Tania says:

    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.

  16. Gerald says:

    Yet they renewed Girls….sigh.

  17. kates2424 says:

    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!!

  18. Viv says:

    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.

  19. Jo says:

    Cancel Girls. Boooooo HBO is the worst!!!!!! Enlightened was so good. Such Garbage. Netflix should pick it up

  20. gasagasagirl says:

    Great show, Mike White! I’m glad that many of the unresolved threads were tied up in the final episode.

  21. Gogo says:


  22. YowzaPowza says:

    Ugh. The MOST disappointing television news in a long time. HBO does it again. First, The Comeback and now Enlightened.

    • YowzaPowza says:

      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.

  23. dani n. says:

    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.

  24. Ryan says:

    Well HBO if it makes me dopey to care about things other than ratings … Then I’m a F’n moron

  25. forwarddad says:

    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.

    • Zachary says:

      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.

  26. TV Gord says:

    What’s with all of the spiteful jealousy about Girls. This decision has nothing to do with Girls. How small-minded can you get?

    • YowzaPowza says:

      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.

      • TV Gord says:

        No argument, but if enough people aren’t watching, even HBO will cancel it. Despite its slogan, HBO IS just TV.

  27. Waitingsux says:

    Cancel Girls, keep Enlightened.

  28. TV Gord says:

    Ah, so THIS is how small-minded you can get. Good to know.

  29. Chuck Finley (AJ) says:

    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.

    • LeChatRouge says:

      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.

  30. mia says:

    That’s disappointing. The idea of a sad Laura Dern makes me sad. She’s so talented, hope she lands somewhere new soon.

  31. Ginger Snap says:

    Her mother with her facial expressions and consternation is what I will miss about a program I enjoyed.

  32. Brad says:

    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.

  33. Patricia Allan says:

    I really could relate to the mother daughter relationship. Will miss this show, as it was so well done.

  34. anil says:

    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

  35. Another horrible thing to happen this year. One more season and out would have been fantastic.

  36. Dizzle says:

    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.

  37. Chris Lake says:

    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.

  38. Laura B. says:

    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.

  39. Bren says:

    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,

  40. len says:

    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.

  41. Enlightened sucked, such an annoying retarded show.

  42. myopix says:

    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.

  43. Mary Fennell says:

    So sad, loved the show

  44. jay says:

    HBO management has terrible taste.

    • sam says:

      I can’t believe ENLIGHTENED was cancelled. What are those people thinking. It’s the best show I’ve seen in 20 years!

      • Randolph knackstedt says:

        Yes, it was a very good show. I miss it and wish there had been many more seasons. But the fact of the matter is people like us were in the minority. The ratings for the show was bad, even though the reviews were great. It’s a business. If people don’t watch, the show gets canceled. Enlightened, The Killing, Boss, etc. It’s a shame more people don’t appreciate great stories, great characters, great acting, great chemistry, great charm, etc, instead of all the eye candy that seems to dominate the ratings.

  45. Florence says:


  46. Debra says:

    How can a network like HBO continue with a show like the “Leftovers” and cancel Enlightened?!?!? It makes no sense!!
    I HOPE another network picks up the show and creates another 10 seasons!

  47. Quinn says:

    I just attempted to watch this show on Amazon Prime. I say attempted because I couldn’t get through any of the first three episodes before shutting it off. Utterly unappealing. Totally uninteresting. Not believable. The show got canned because nobody watched. Nobody watched because complex characters and good writing have nothing on appealing story. The story came off as immediately provacative, absurd, and ultimately a continual disappointment.