Why Did HBO Cancel Lovecraft Country? New Book Makes Bold Claims

Jonathan Majors in trailer for Lovecraft Country, HBO
(Image credit: HBO)

HBO period drama Lovecraft Country was cancelled after just one season. Despite its awards recognition, including landing some Emmy wins, the series only lasted 10 episodes. Many have wondered why the critically-acclaimed show got cancelled in the time since HBO dropped the news the subscription network had axed the drama. Now, a new book is making some bold claims.

Tinderbox: HBO’s Ruthless Pursuit of New Frontiers, a new book looking into the inner workings at HBO and its streaming service HBO Max, and written by James Andrew Miller, claims the set may have been toxic due to showrunner Misha Green. While it was reported previously that the reasoning behind the cancellation was because the show was too expensive and there wasn’t really a vision for Season 2, Miller mentions in the book (via Bounding Into Comics) that this is actually the main reason why HBO canned the show.

Miller revealed that his sources within HBO and elsewhere told him that the environment on the show was “not a healthy one.” It’s not completely known what the sources mean by “not a healthy” environment on the set of Lovecraft Country, but it is worth noting that series lead Courtney B. Vance was unhappy about the show concluding so quickly, noting at the time the cancellation didn't "make sense.

The cancellation was particularly notable for Vance, who had earned a lot of acclaim for his role in the series. In fact, he had landed one of the show's Emmy wins in the Outstanding Guest Actor In A Drama Series category.  Even though the actor said he was happy about the recognition Lovecraft Country got in the awards race this past year, Vance was sad that the audience wouldn’t be able to see the show get to a Game of Thrones level, and he was confused about why the cancellation happened. This doesn't tie into the specific allegations, but does help to illustrate the surprise of the network's decision overall. 

In addition, it's worth mentioning that while Lovecraft Country is done, Misha Green inked a new deal with Apple TV+. Moreover, Green is also working on the Black Canary solo movie, working again with Lovecraft Country’s Jurnee Smollett, who is reprising her Birds of Prey role for HBO Max. Green has not yet commented on the book's allegations, but she did land the Apple TV deal fairly swiftly after the show was cancelled. 

The good news? Regardless of any drama over its ending, the first season of Lovecraft Country stands on its own as a memorable TV show. If you haven't caught it yet, or haven't caught it in a while you can revisit it streaming now on HBO Max. HBO has more coming in 2022 as well, and you can take a look at it's not-cancelled offerings with our full schedule

Megan Behnke
Freelance TV News Writer

Passionate writer. Obsessed with anything and everything entertainment, specifically movies and television. Can get easily attached to fictional characters.