HBO has announced the cancellation of the acclaimed sci-fi drama series “Westworld” after four seasons. The news comes just under three months after the series aired its Season 4 finale Aug. 14.
According to Variety, there are many factors that went into the decision to end, even though the series premiere of “Westworld” boasted the most-watched freshman year of any HBO original series ever. However, its ratings have fallen each season, culminating in a dramatic drop from 12 million viewers to 4 million viewers in Season 4 . Besides the rating, the production’s hefty budget, and an ongoing evaluation of programming across the board at HBO’s new parent, Warner Bros. Discovery. David Zaslav plans to Institute $3.5 billion in cost-saving synergies and promised to find over the next three years post-April merger.
“Westworld” Series creators have released their statement.
“Over the past four seasons, Lisa and Jonah have taken viewers on a mind-bending odyssey, raising the bar at every step,” the press release says. “We are tremendously grateful to them, along with their immensely talented cast, producers and crew, and all of our partners at Kilter Films, Bad Robot, and Warner Bros. Television. It’s been a thrill to join them on this journey.”
“Making “Westworld” has been one of the highlights of our careers,” said Lisa Joy and Jonathan Nolan’s Kilter Films. “We are deeply grateful to our extraordinary cast and crew for creating these indelible characters and brilliant worlds. We’ve been privileged to tell these stories about the future of consciousness — both human and beyond — in the brief window of time before our AI overlords forbid us from doing so.”
“Westworld” was based on Michael Crichton’s 1973 film of the same name. It is a dark odyssey about the dawn of artificial consciousness and the birth of a new form of life on Earth. It centers around a technologically-advanced amusement park, where human-like android hosts are programmed to fulfill each high-paying guests’ wants and desires.
Season four starred Evan Rachel Wood, Emmy winner Thandiwe Newton, Ed Harris, Jeffrey Wright, Tessa Thompson, Luke Hemsworth, Aaron Paul, Angela Sarafyan, and James Marsden. Additional cast included Oscar winner Ariana DeBose, Aurora Perrineau, and Daniel Wu. The Emmy-winning series was created for television by Jonathan Nolan & Lisa Joy, who served as executive producers with J.J. Abrams, Richard J. Lewis, Roberto Patino, Athena Wickham, and Ben Stephenson.
According to sources, the core cast had pay-or-play deals for Season 5. I hear the actors’ options came up sometime last year, before Season 4 had aired and they were exercised. I hear the cast also might have renegotiated their deals at that time.
“Westworld” garnered 54 Emmy nominations since debuting in 2016, including Tandie Newton’s trophy for outstanding supporting actress in a drama series in 2018.