It’s time to say goodbye to Westworld’s androids. HBO has cancelled the sci-fi series after four seasons, despite the fact that showrunners Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy hoped for a fifth to accomplish the finale they envisioned. As late as October, Nolan and Joy were attempting to negotiate a final season, but their conversations evidently failed. HBO said in a statement:
“Lisa and [Jonathan] have led audiences on a mind-bending trip over the last four seasons, upping the bar at every turn. We are very thankful to them, as well as their incredible actors, producers, and crew, as well as all of our colleagues at Kilter Films, Bad Robot, and Warner Bros. Television. It’s been an honour to accompany them on this adventure.”
Westworld was formerly one of HBO’s marquee productions, earning 54 Emmy nominations and a victory for Thandiwe Newton as Outstanding Supporting Actress. However, its ratings and viewership have declined over the years, and it has never fully recovered. The fact that the programme had not been renewed promptly after the last season finished was already a red flag for viewers.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, nearly 12 million people tuned in across platforms to witness the highly praised first season of the programme. And, just when we thought Westworld had returned to form in its third season, its ratings continued to fall, with barely 4 million people tuning in to witness the newest episodes. That is most certainly insufficient for HBO to warrant a renewal. The fourth season reportedly cost the network $160 million for eight episodes, which is more than it spent on House of Dragons. The Game of Thrones prequel has 10 episodes, each with 29 million viewers.