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Why did HBO cancel 'Westworld'? Fans shocked by decision to cancel show after 4 seasons

HBO cancels one of it's biggest tentpoles, 'Westworld' after four seasons, and fans are not amused with the decision
Ariana DeBose as Maya and Evan Rachel Wood as Christina in 'Westworld' Season 4 (HBO)
Ariana DeBose as Maya and Evan Rachel Wood as Christina in 'Westworld' Season 4 (HBO)

In one of the most shocking decisions, HBO has decided to cancel ‘Westworld’, a series that made them earn so many laurels and was considered to be one of the network’s biggest tentpoles. The sci-fi series just concluded its fourth season in August 2022 and garnered positive reviews from critics as well as audiences, but it failed to reach the level of the first two editions that were considered to be iconic.

The network pulled the plug on its futuristic drama by issuing a statement and praising the show’s creators Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy for constructing a world that took viewers on a “mind-bending odyssey” and raised the bar at every step, per The Hollywood Reporter. HBO also thanked the cast of the sci-fi epic and noted that the show’s journey has been absolutely “thrilling.”


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Thandiwe Newton and Aaron Paul in 'Westworld' (HBO)
Thandiwe Newton and Aaron Paul in 'Westworld' (HBO)

“Over the past four seasons, Lisa and [Jonathan] have taken viewers on a mind-bending odyssey, raising the bar at every step. 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,” HBO said in a statement.

But what forced the network to cancel one of its biggest shows? Unfortunately, there’s only one reason: a dip in linear ratings. According to Statista, an average of 350,000 viewers watched the fourth season. The rating continued to fall after the first season, which was the show’s most popular season, with 1.82 million average total viewers and a 0.8 rating within the 18 to 49 demographic. The ratings continue to drop with each season and Seasons 3 and 4 failed to cross the million mark in the category of average total viewers. On the other hand, The Hollywood Reporter noted that Season 1 clocked in at 12 million viewers if we calculated its numbers across multiple platforms. However, that number declined significantly and tumbled to 4 million viewers when the fourth edition of the HBO series ended.

To be honest, the show’s cancellation is not that surprising. The ratings were tumbling, a certain section of fans was disappointed with how the later seasons turned out to be, and David Zaslav, the new boss of Warner Bros. Discovery, had already made it clear that they are currently in a cost-cutting phase. So, it was not that surprising that the show got canceled.

A still from 'Westworld' (HBO)
A still from 'Westworld' (HBO)

However, fans of ‘Westworld’ are distraught after HBO canceled the show and made it clear that the series won’t be returning for another edition. Some believed that the decision was ‘unhinged’ while others requested the network to bring the show back for the fifth and final season. One of the fans wrote, “HBO canceling Westworld after spending all that money and scoring all those stars with only one season to go is unhinged. NO SHOW IS SAFE!” Another social media user tweeted, “Westworld deserved a fifth and final season.” Another fan wrote, “RIP to one of the best sci-fi shows I've ever watched. All those characters deserved a better ending.”




“I'm gonna miss all the badass women of Westworld. And we deserved to have a proper ending to this show,” said another user. “HBO isn't serious. The events of season 4 were wrapping things up neatly. The least they could have done is allowed them to end the show. Even if it was a TV movie finale How disappointing,” wrote another user.



The series premiered on HBO in 2016 and the first season became the most-watched first season of any HBO original series. ‘Westworld’ was nominated for 54 Primetime Emmys during its run and won on 9 different occasions. Even though the show will not be returning for another season, Deadline reported that the core cast members, including Evan Rachel Wood, Thandiwe Newton, Ed Harris, Aaron Paul, and Jeffrey Wright, will be paid for Season 5 regardless of the fact that the show will not be returning.

Will the makers try and take the show to any other network or a streaming platform? Let’s just wait and watch.

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