Back in February came word that HBO had decided to give Vinyl, the ’70s music business drama from Terence Winter, Mick Jagger, Rich Cohen, and Martin Scorsese, a season two. This is something HBO does often to give shows a fair chance to find their audience.
But some things have happened since the decision was made to greenlight a second season, and now HBO has announced that they have decided not to move forward with a new season of Vinyl after all.
HBO released a brief statement on the decision, saying:
“After careful consideration, we have decided not to proceed with a second season of “˜Vinyl.’ Obviously, this was not an easy decision. We have enormous respect for the creative team and cast for their hard work and passion on this project.”
As for the things that have happened since the initial decision to renew, Vinyl co-creator and showrunner Winter, who also was creator and showrunner of Boardwalk Empire and a writer and executive producer on The Sopranos for HBO, departed the series in April. Then longtime president of programming for HBO, Michael Lombardo, stepped down from his position last month and has been replaced by Casey Bloys. Whether these things had any direct impact on the decision to cancel is unclear. A new showrunner in Scott Z. Burns had been hired to replace Winter, and he was working on the new season.
At the moment the only reason the show appears to have been canceled is the usual culprit: money. But, in this particular case, the money was probably reason enough. The first season of Vinyl is said to have cost an astonishing $100 million to produce, with $30 million going into the Scorsese-directed pilot alone. With both the ratings and the reviews not exciting anyone it was understandably hard to justify dropping another pile of cash into the show in hopes of things eventually clicking, and so HBO made the choice to put that money into other projects.
Vinyl now joins the few other shows that only had a single-season run on HBO including Luck, Tell Me You Love Me, and John from Cincinnati.