HBO Cancels 'Vinyl' For A Very Good Reason, But There's A Bright Side To The Sadness

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Vinyl has been cancelled by HBO... despite the fact that Vinyl was renewed for a Season 2 just one week after its pilot premiered. In order to properly digest this news, you need to imagine someone announced that they were going to get you a pony for your birthday. Then imagine that the same person decided to not hand over the pony, because they didn't think there were enough pony-loving people in the world for you to enjoy said pony with. The person instead promises you a slew of other, different pets, ones that they hope you grow to love once you're done mourning the lost of the taken-back pony. That long-winded metaphor is exactly what happened to HBO's rock n' roll drama, Vinyl. Like any TV show — and any smart company that produces them — the decision to cancel all has to do with the numbers.

As The Hollywood Reporter states, the first season of Vinyl cost HBO nearly $100 million dollars, which might be the initial reason that HBO decided to hang on — the network could have potentially hoped to earn back some of its investment. But though the music industry-exploring Vinyl certainly seemed like a worthy investment for HBO (it was created by iconic director Martin Scorcese and legendary rock star Mick Jagger, after all), the Olivia Wilde and Bobby Cannavale starring series didn't quite grab the audience that HBO clearly expected. Unfortunately for fans of the series, the ratings seemingly suggested that people weren't very interested — and why allow a series to take up valuable airtime when enough people simply aren't watching it? That would just be silly.

Though Vinyl's ratings might be passable on other networks, they were pretty dismal compared to what else HBO has put on its slate in the past. As Vulture reports, only 764,000 viewers tuned in for Vinyl 's premiere, which meant that the rock drama had one of "the smallest audiences ever for the first installment of an HBO drama in recent years." The Wrap states that those numbers didn't improve, and that by the end of the first season, Vinyl only averaged 635,000 viewers per episode. For comparison, The Wrap reports that HBO's Game Of Thrones pulled in an average of 2.5 million viewers during its first season in 2011, while the first season of True Detective pulled in 2.3 million in 2014.

Still, fans of the series can take comfort in knowing that HBO is determined to make great programming that the masses will tune into — so while Vinyl may be dead, its passing could inadvertently give us our new favorite HBO show. If you love Vinyl, hang in there. HBO never lets us down.

Image: HBO; Giphy