Happyish Has Been Cancelled By Showtime

I thought we had gotten through most of the announcements about shows getting cancelled or ending when the networks made their big announcements in May. However, that hasn’t proved to be the case. This week, Netflix announced that Lilyhammer was ending and Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele decided to end the hit Comedy Central series Key and Peele. Now, Showtime has also announced that Happyish will not be moving forward for Season 2.

Showtime frequently has shows on the air that last for a long period of time, but Happyish wasn't able to find the same level of success. Deadline says Showtime’s decision came from a combination of the show’s low ratings and the fact that Happyish wasn’t well-reviewed when it initially hit the schedule. The show was an unconventional comedy, for sure, about a depressed individual who realizes happiness may not actually be in the cards for him. British actor Steve Coogan starred as lead Thom Payne in the series, and a lot of the show featured Payne’s relationship with his wife Lee, played by Kathryn Hahn. While technically a comedy, it had a pretty bleak outlook.

It originally took quite a while for Happyish to move forward to series. Philip Seymour Hoffman was attached to the series when Showtime ordered it to pilot, and following the actor’s untimely death, Happyish was in limbo for a while. The pilot was eventually re-shot with Coogan in the lead, although the British actor is clearly less well-known than Hoffman was at the time of his tragic passing. After the tweaks and changes, Happyish hit the schedule this past April. The Season 1 finale aired at the end of June.

Obviously, Showtime took a little time to mull over whether or not to bring the show back for Season 2, although the network ultimately decided to cancel the series. A lot of Showtime’s other programs have fared better this season; earlier this spring, the subscription cable network picked up other comedy House of Lies for Season 5. More recently, the channel also picked up Penny Dreadful for Season 3, which will air in 2016.

It’s never fun to hear that a show has been given the boot by a network, but at least it is one not one of Showtime’s longer lasting programs that got the axe. Hopefully, this spot in the schedule will open up something new for Showtime to slide in. With Dexter officially off the schedule and Homeland lacking the buzz it once did, the premium cable network needs to take some swings in order to find a very clear reason for people to subscribe. That reason was never going to be Happyish for a large number of people, even if it had attracted enough viewers who generally enjoyed it.

Jessica Rawden
Managing Editor

Reality TV fan with a pinch of Disney fairy dust thrown in. Theme park junkie. If you’ve created a rom-com I’ve probably watched it.