Westworld gets canceled by HBO in a shocking decision

The acclaimed sci-fi drama is considered finished after its recent fourth season, despite creators hoping for a fifth season to wrap things up.

Westworld has been turned off by HBO.

After its most recent fourth season, the network made the decision to axe the science fiction drama.

It’s an unexpected end for the acclaimed mystery-box drama that received 54 Emmy nominations and was previously regarded as one of HBO’s biggest tentpoles (including a supporting actress win for Thandiwe Newton).

In a recent interview, co-creator Jonathan Nolan expressed his optimism that HBO will grant the program the fifth season to complete its complex plot, which followed a robot rebellion that altered the course of human history. Nolan said. “We are still in conversations with the network. We very much hope to make them.” Co-creator Lisa Joy likewise said the series has always been working toward a specific ending: “Jonah and I have always had an ending in mind that we hope to reach. We have not quite reached it yet.”

Evan Rachel Wood in ‘Westworld’

However, the expensive series’ linear ratings began to decline significantly in its third season and continued to decline in its fourth season. The Rotten Tomatoes reviewer score for Westworld also dropped from the mid-80s for the first two seasons to the mid-70s for the following two. Fans complained that the show had lost its focus, become mired in its mythology, and lacked relatable characters. All of this is overshadowed by the existence of Warner Bros. Despite network sources’ insistence that cost-cutting was not a role in the show’s cancellation, Discovery CEO David Zaslav has committed to aggressive cost-cutting.

However, HBO and increasingly other cable networks and streamers like to give major series creators time to develop a finale for serialized shows since it keeps its subscribers from getting upset (see: the years-long fandom outrage after Deadwood was axed). Plus, a show that can tout a beginning, middle, and end arguably increase its perceived value as a streaming and home video product compared to a title that feels unfinished.

The fourth season of Westworld wasn’t entirely a cliffhanger, however. Its final moments could be said to be rather ambiguous.

Here’s HBO’s statement: “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.”

The following is a statement from Kilter Films: “Making Westworld has been one of the high points of our careers. We are incredibly appreciative of the great cast and crew that helped us create these unforgettable characters and fantastic environments. We had the opportunity to share these tales about the evolution of consciousness, both within humans and beyond, before our AI rulers forbade us from doing so.

In addition to Succession, The White Lotus, Euphoria, and the recently premiered House of the Dragon, HBO also boasts the impending zombie apocalypse thriller The Last of Us.

Also, just like the show’s frequently resurrected androids, it would be foolish to assume there will never be any more Westworld ever. If Deadwood can get a movie 12 years after the series finished, it’s always possible Westworld could likewise be, well, rebooted.