HBO Addresses ‘Lovecraft Country’ Being Canceled After One Season

Lovecraft Country follows Atticus Freeman (Jonathan Majors), his high school friend Letitia (Jurnee Smollett), and his uncle George (Courtney B. Vance), and their journey through 1950s Jim Crow America in search of his missing father, Montrose Freeman (Michael K. Williams). The group encounters terrifying monsters and supernatural beings, illustrated by horror novelist  H. P. Lovecraft. HBO canceled the series after one season. Now, the network is finally speaking out about the show’s unexpected cancelation. 

HBO speaks up about ‘Lovecraft Country’ cancelation

Aunjanue Ellis, Jurnee Smollett, Jonathan Majors, andMichael K. Williams standing together in 'Lovecraft Country' Season 1.
Aunjanue Ellis, Jurnee Smollett, Jonathan Majors, and Michael K. Williams from ‘Lovecraft Country’ Season 1 | Eli Joshua Ade/HBO

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When HBO announced that Lovecraft Country wouldn’t return for a second season, fans were stunned. The show received positive reviews from critics, earning an 88 percent on Rotten Tomatoes and a 7.1 out of 10 on IMDb. Additionally, the show has received 14 Emmy nominations for the 73rd Primetime Emmy Awards. So, when the short-lived series ended, many fans questioned the reason behind HBO’s decision.

In an interview with Variety, HBO Chief Content Officer Casey Bloys addressed the show’s cancellation. Although he didn’t specify the reason behind the decision, he said that HBO chose to end the show over a “confluence of factors.”

“When you make the decision to not go forward with a show, it’s usually a confluence of factors,” he explained. “And that was the case here. It has to be something we think makes sense for us. In this case, we couldn’t get there.”

Bloys didn’t name the contributing factor to the show’s abrupt end. But, he acknowledged the artistry and the impact Lovecraft Country had on viewers. “I don’t think it would be fair to point at any one particular thing. I think that the work Misha [Green] did, and the recognition that it got, this doesn’t change any of that.”

The first season of Lovecraft Country is based on the fictional tales by Matt Ruff. The author told the story in a single book, so there was no more source material for the second season. But, that hasn’t stopped the network from crafting an alternative narrative for a potential second season – Big Litte Lies only had one book, but the show was renewed for another season. Despite that, HBO had decided to end the supernatural series. 

‘Lovecraft Country’ showrunner planned a new storyline for season 2

Jurnee Smollett, Jonathan Majors, and Courtney B. Vance standing in an open field in 'Lovecraft Country.'
Jurnee Smollett, Jonathan Majors, and Courtney B. Vance | Eli Joshua Ade/HBO

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After the HBO series got canceled, Lovecraft Country showrunner Misha Green revealed that she planned an entire outline for season two. Green also said that she had “season three and beyond” lined up. She titled the second season Lovecraft Country: Supremacy.

“[It] begins in a new world, and that new world is a country that sits where The United States used to sit,” Green tweeted, referring to the Sovereign States of America. She also shared a map of the United States separated into different sections, such as the “Tribal Nations of the West,” the “Whitelands,” the “New Negro Republic,” and the “Jefferson Commonwealth.”

Courtney B. Vance shares his thoughts on the show’s cancellation 

Courtney B. Vance portrayed uncle George in the first season of Lovecraft Country. In an interview with Deadline, the actor opened up about the show’s cancellation, saying it simply “doesn’t make sense” to him.

“I don’t understand it [the cancellation],” Vance said. “It doesn’t make sense to fans, and that’s all who matter. We set everyone up, and then we don’t deliver for whatever reason. I’m tired of it. They can find a way to make a Game of Thrones, but not Lovecraft Country.”

The first season of Lovecraft Country is streaming now on HBO Max.