The decision to pull the plug on Looking was not made lightly, according to HBO president Michael Lombardo.
The cabler’s top exec told reporters Thursday at the Television Critics Association summer press tour in Beverly Hills that “ending that show was, on a personal level, very painful for me” but noted that Looking‘s weak ratings “didn’t support us going forward” beyond Season 2.
“I thought the show, creatively, was really doing something that I hadn’t seen on any other show, particularly dealing with gay lives,” Lombardo added. “As a gay man, in particular, I was very proud that there was a show that felt like it was dealing very honestly and openly with gay men and their lives, without putting them into a comedic mode.”
Lombardo has such affection for the series that, in lieu of a Season 3, he commissioned a two-hour wrap-up movie, which is slated to begin production this fall ahead of an early 2016 premiere date. “There were some fans that really wanted to find a finale with the storylines,” he said of the pic. “[And the writers] wanted to wrap up storytelling for the characters.”