HBO has canceled its low-rated critical darling "Enlightened."
The series, created by Mike White and Laura Dern, centered on Amy Jellicoe (Dern), a self-destructive woman who undergoes a spiritual awakening and takes on a path bent on reforming her company's bad methods. The role earned Dern a Golden Globe for the show's debut season.
The half-hour series, which recently wrapped its second season, was praised by critics but that didn't translate to ratings success. Though its second season saw a slight boost in viewership, it was hardly a sturdy or everlasting one. It's January premiere drew 300,000 viewers, up from the 210,000 viewers it locked in when it made its debut in late 2011. It finished its sophomore season with 220,000 viewers in its finale — that number would rise to a still-low 500,000 across three airings that night.
To be sure, low viewership isn't an automatic deal breaker for the HBO — as evidence by the network renewing the struggling series for a second season. Still, that support is sustainable for only so long.
"It was a very difficult decision," HBO said in a statement. "We’ve decided not to continue Enlightened for a third season. We’re proud of the show and we look forward to working with Mike White and Laura Dern in the future."