August is generally a point when TV audiences are gearing up for favorite series to return, bolstered by casting reveals and first trailers for upcoming seasons. Of course, nothing has played out in normal ways across 2020, with the pandemic changing the entertainment landscape in wide-reaching ways, so it figures that this month has been plagued by cancellations of fan-favorite series.
Below, we're running down ten big cancellations that have already been confirmed in August 2020 so far, with hopefully no other disappointments arriving before Labor Day (or on Labor Day, or right after Labor Day). Let's start things off with one of the longest-running entries in the round-up, and also the one that probably creates the worst liver problems.
Drunk History - Comedy Central
Derek Waters' Drunk History was a perfectly off-kilter slice of comfort comedy for six seasons, having started back in 2013. Its alcohol-infused and star-studded historical retellings will always remain hilarious, but we likely won't be seeing any more of them unless someone steps in to renew Drunk History for Season 7 and actually follows through with it. Comedy Central had confirmed a new season order back in August 2019, which the creative team had been working on throughout quarantine, only to have the network pull the plug over a year later. The decision was part of an overall shift in programming, with Comedy Central now leaning harder on producing adult animation over live-action projects.
I Am Not Okay With This - Netflix
Starring the recent IT films' Sophia Lillis and Wyatt Oleff, and based on the comic book from Charles Forsman, I Am Not Okay with This combined pop culture's recent superhero obsession with YA dramedies, and both fans and critics were won over. Netflix was down for the fandom, too, and there were reports that the creative team had moved forward with script-writing and pre-production on Season 2, despite no official renewals being announced. Regardless of those encouraging reports, Netflix recently cancelled I Am Not Okay with This, citing COVID-related circumstances as the cause.
High Fidelity - Hulu
With Zoe Kravitz as its lead, Hulu's High Fidelity was an episodic take on Nick Hornby's 1995 novel, which had already been turned into a beloved feature. The show started off as a Disney+ original before being ported to Hulu, where it became a hit with both critics and audiences after its release. Though it was reportedly not a quick decision for the powers that be, with the cast's contracts being extended an extra month for deliberation purposes, Hulu inevitably cancelled High Fidelity after just a single season.
Altered Carbon - Netflix
Based on Richard Morgan's heady novel, Altered Carbon was no doubt one of the most complex science fiction projects on the streaming service. And, thanks in part to its complete narrative and cast overhaul for Season 2, it was also one of the more expensive shows in Netflix's arsenal. After Season 2 debuted in February, fans also got an anime movie in March. However, Netflix execs apparently didn't think the show's audience was large enough to justify the costs of ordering up Season 3, and unofficial cancellation decisions reportedly came down as early as April.
Tosh.0 - Comedy Central
The longest-running show on this list, Tosh.0 and host Daniel Tosh have been skewering viral videos and Internet culture for eleven seasons, with the twelfth set to debut in September. But even though Comedy Central granted Tosh.0 a massive four-season renewal back in January, the network's push to move away from scripted live-action programming caused execs to renege on the earlier deal, marking the impending ten-episode twelfth season as the last. There's a chance Tosh.0 could get revived elsewhere, as the studio is reportedly trying to find the show a new home.
The Society - Netflix
The running theme for these August cancellations should be clear by now, but if not: The Society debuted in May 2019 and quickly won over audiences and critics with its mystery-driven storytelling, and Netflix ordered up a second season two months later. Season 2 would have ideally been premiering in late 2020, but the pandemic lockdown obviously delayed everything, though creator Chris Keyser and the writers kept working on crafting new episodes. Unfortunately, it was determined that newly required COVID safety protections would make the Season 2 production too expensive to move forward with.
I'm Sorry - truTV
As created and anchored by the always excellent Andrea Savage, I'm Sorry delivered two seasons of slice-of-awkward-life comedy to truTV. The show was renewed for Season 3 in June 2019, and the cast and crew were two weeks into shooting new episodes when everything shut down. Regardless, truTV announced that I'm Sorry would be yet another show to have its renewal deal cancelled due to COVID-related reasons. Considering the show's fairly limited cast and non-outlandish narratives, it doesn't seem like that much would need to change on the production side, but it's possible that the comedy's ratings didn't quite justify the additional costs.
Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj - Netflix
For six seasons (and 40 episodes total), Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj delivered comedic and insightful political and social commentary without getting bogged down in snark and vitriol. 2019 was a big year for the show, which earned an Emmy and other awards, but two months after its June 28 finale, Patriot Act was officially cancelled by Netflix. Fans poured on the support for the show to get picked up at a different streamer, but elsewhere, now-former crew members spoke out about having negative experiences behind the scenes. It's not clear if those issues had any impact on the show's cancellation, however.
Penny Dreadful: City of Angels - Showtime
A by-name-only spinoff, John Logan's horror drama Penny Dreadful: City of Angels took the story from gothic England to 1930s Hollywood for a season tied to Mexican folklore and threats of the era. Critics and fans generally enjoyed the season for the ensemble cast and the well-crafted (if over-stuffed) storyline, but its viewership numbers weren't altogether outstanding for such a lavish-looking project. The final episode aired back in June, so fans didn't have to wait too long to learn about Penny Dreadful: City of Angels' future; unfortunately, what they learned was that Showtime pulled the plug.
White Lines - Netflix
Another newer entry on the list, Netflix's White Lines could have easily been one of the streaming service's biggest shows of the year. It was created by Álex Pina, who was behind the massively popular La Casa de Papel (Money Heist). Not to mention it was about a character investigating her brother's death after a 20-year disappearance, which is ripe for binge-viewing. But for one reason or another, Netflix apparently didn't want to move forward with Season 2, and one of the show's stars, Daniel Mays, publicly announced that White Lines would be ending after its initial season, which debuted in May.
Given how things have gone in 2020 already, I wouldn't be surprised if more days will be arbitrarily added to August specifically so more TV shows can get cancelled. I certainly hope that won't be the case, but stay tuned to CinemaBlend for more updates. And while waiting for more axes to drop, check out our Fall 2020 TV premiere schedule to stay current with all the new and returning shows on the way.
Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.
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