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HomeIndustry SectorHBO Cancels Perry Mason After Two Seasons; Period Show's Viewership Never Justified...

HBO Cancels Perry Mason After Two Seasons; Period Show’s Viewership Never Justified the Cost

HBO has canceled Perry Mason after two seasons that were fairly critically acclaimed but failed to bring in enough eyeballs to justify the cost of the pricey period series.

Matthew Rhys (The Americans) starred as the title character, a private investigator in Los Angeles in the 1930s — a change from the ’50s TV series that saw the character working as a lawyer.

Season 2 debuted back in March, but there was curiously little promotion for the series, which hailed from Robert Downey Jr. and Susan Downey‘s company Team Downey. They’re also behind HBO’s upcoming prestige series The Sympathizer, and the network made it a point to note that it’s excited to work with the Downeys going forward.

“We are tremendously grateful for the remarkable work of Matthew Rhys and the unrivaled cast and crew of Perry Mason for their reimagining of such a treasured and storied franchise,” HBO said in a statement to Deadline, which broke the news. “While we won’t be moving forward with another season of the series, we are excited to continue working with the brilliant creatives at Team Downey on future projects.”

Tatiana Maslany and John Lithgow co-starred in Season 1 of Perry Mason alongside Juliet Rylance, Chris Chalk, Shea Whigham, and Justin Kirk, who were joined in Season 2 by Katherine Waterston, Hope Davis, Paul Raci, Sean Astin, Eric Lange, and Mark O’Brien.

Based on characters created by Erle Stanley Gardner, the series was developed for television by Ron Fitzgerald and Rolin Jones. Tim Van Patten (The Sopranos) directed the majority of Season 1 and he also executive produced the series alongside Rhys and Season 2 showrunners Jack Amiel and Michael Begler, as well as Joe Horacek and Team Downey’s Amanda Burrell. Regina Hyman served as a co-executive producer on the series, which seemed to lose steam in Season 2 despite drawing better reviews.

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