HBO has stated that “After careful consideration, we have decided not to proceed with a second season of ‘Vinyl.’ Obviously, this was not an easy decision,” adding that they “have enormous respect for the creative team and cast for their hard work and passion on this project.”
This decision to cancel Vinyl comes in the wake of a significant change in HBO’s programming ranks. In May, HBO’s programming president Michael Lombardo decided to step down from the position after nearly a decade. Lombardo was replaced by HBO’s former head of comedy, Casey Bloys.
Vinyl‘s second season was already in the works and the show was undergoing a revamping with the showrunner being changed from series creator, Terence Winter, to Scott Z. Burns (The Bourne Ultimatum). Burns had already begun the process of working on a blueprint for the second season prior to being informed of the shows cancellation, but had not turned in any scripts at the time. Ultimately, it was decided by the network that the cost of producing a revamped season 2 would be to high and would be better served on other potential projects
The series stared Bobby Cannavale (Ant-Man) with co-stars Olivia Wilde and Ray Romano. Martin Scorsese and Mick Jagger were both attached to the project as executive producers. With such big names surrounding the project, many hoped that the series would become the next big hit for HBO, but the season underperformed, receiving decent ratings and reviews. This cancellation places Vinyl in the HBO record book for one of the most high-profile season 1 cancellations, along with the 2012 drama Luck and the 2008 comedy Tell Me You Love Me.
This cancellation has left a sour taste in the mouths of many fans of Terence Winter’s work, including fans of his previous HBO series Boardwalk Empire. The show starring Steve Buscemi received higher ratings and garnered higher praise from audiences and critics, allowing the show to run for 5 seasons. The final season however received criticism for feeling too rushed and running through all the loose ends in the series in order to simply wrap it up without giving the show the finale it deserved. Fans place some blame on Winter, claiming his desire to focus on the creation and production of Vinyl ended up having a negative effect on Boardwalk Empire, and with this cancellation fans may feel even more disdain towards Winter for rushing a fan favorite to focus on a flop.
For those interested in getting a glimpse into the 1970’s music biz and the struggles of New York music producer Richie Finestra (Cannavale), Vinyl is still available on HBO GO, HBO NOW and HBO On Demand.