Looking Has Been Cancelled, But HBO Will Release Special

HBO generally allows its series to thrive without too much attention paid to ratings, since they don’t have to worry about ad revenue. But even diehard fanbases can’t make up for lagging numbers sometimes, and the premium cable network is pulling the plug on sophomore series Looking. But, like a good pal, they’re giving fans one last hurrah with Patrick and the boys for a one-off special.

According to THR, it isn’t clear when Looking, which just ended its second season, will get that special, though we can probably expect it next year at some point. The network went a similar route with Ricky GervaisExtras and Stephen Merchant’s Hello Ladies, both of which received longer specials a little over a year after the respective series ended. Maybe we’ll see it accompanying the Season 6 premiere of Game of Thrones. Do those shows’ audiences have much overlap?

If you’ll allow some season finale spoilers here, Season 2 capped off with something of a cliffhanger, as Patrick was stuck between choosing to carry on a relationship with his current beau Kevin, whom he got into a huge argument with after discovering Kevin’s Grindr profile, and on-and-off lover Richie. I think we all know which one he’ll choose, as everything about him moving in with Kevin involved terrible decision-making skills. Meanwhile, Dom is fixing things with Doris, and Agustin helped a kid with a mural and proved himself a nice guy.

But even though its sexuality-charged stories are engrossing, Looking has the kind of ratings that basic networks have nightmares about, and Girls and Vice haven’t been much help as lead-ins. Only a handful of its 18 total episodes reached a live audience of over 500,000, and the finale only brought in 298,000 viewers. That isn’t to take away from the show’s decent DVR numbers, as well as the eyes gained by HBO Go users, but even that isn’t enough sometimes. Still, the series’ critical acclaim has been there even when massive audiences haven’t, and I bet series creator Michael Lannan figures out a pleasing way to wrap things up for the special.

HBO, which brought The Comeback back last year for a long-awaited second season, is giving its similarly underwatched hospice comedy Getting On a final season later this year. They’re also gearing up for Season 4 of Veep and Season 2 of Silicon Valley, one of the best comedy tandems on TV, as well as the second seasons of True Detective and The Leftovers. And I think we all know that Season 5 of Game of Thrones is the network’s biggest draw at this point. They also have a slew of new series in development, including Westworld, The Brink, Vice Principals and more.

Are you guys sorry to see Looking go?

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native and an Assistant Managing Editor with a focus on TV and features. His humble origin story with CinemaBlend began all the way back in the pre-streaming era, circa 2009, as a freelancing DVD reviewer and TV recapper.  Nick leapfrogged over to the small screen to cover more and more television news and interviews, eventually taking over the section for the current era and covering topics like Yellowstone, The Walking Dead and horror. Born in Louisiana and currently living in Texas — Who Dat Nation over America’s Team all day, all night — Nick spent several years in the hospitality industry, and also worked as a 911 operator. If you ever happened to hear his music or read his comics/short stories, you have his sympathy.