Westworld Has Officially Been Canceled By HBO After 4 Seasons

Say farewell to the amusement park of the future, as "Westworld" has been canceled by HBO after four seasons, according to The Hollywood Reporter

The announcement came nearly three months after the season 4 finale, but as recently as last month, co-showrunner Jonathan "Jonah" Nolan told Deadline that the show was still in discussions of returning. "We had always conceived of a fifth and final season," he said. "We're still in conversations with the network." Co-creator Lisa Joy echoed the sentiments and indicated the series had a planned conclusion. "Jonah and I have always had an ending in mind that we hope to reach," she said. "We have not quite reached it yet."

Unfortunately, but not surprisingly, it seems those conversations brought the series to its end. Based on the 1973 Michael Crichton film of the same name, "Westworld" is a dystopian science-fiction, neo-Western television series that was once one of HBO's most-watched shows. That time, however, was over two seasons ago. The season 2 premiere boasted 2 million viewers, but by the time the season 4 premiere debuted, viewership numbers had plummeted to 325,000.

"Westworld" earned 54 Emmy award nominations throughout its run, including a Best Supporting Actress win for Thandiwe Newton, but the dropping viewership numbers and decline in critical reception clearly weren't enough to justify continued investment in the show. It's a shame because "Westworld" has a fascinating history across film and television, but the waning viewership numbers cannot be denied.

Ending one season too soon

Season 4 of "Westworld" saw the return of star-studded veteran cast members Evan Rachel Wood, Ed Harris, Tessa Thompson, Thandiwe Newton, Jeffrey Wright, Luke Hemsworth, James Marsden, Aaron Paul, and Angela Sarafyan, and the addition Aurora Perrineau ("Prodigal Son") and Oscar-winner Ariana DeBose ("West Side Story"). With allegedly only one season left to complete the story, it may seem cruel from a fandom perspective to cancel the show, but "Westworld" has historically been one of the most expensive shows for the network. 

HBO released a statement regarding the cancellation:

"Over the past four seasons, Lisa and Jonah have taken viewers on a mind-bending odyssey, raising the bar at every step. We are tremendously grateful to them, along with their immensely talented cast, producers, and crew, and all of our partners at Kilter Films, Bad Robot, and Warner Bros. Television. It's been a thrill to join them on this journey."

Kilter Films also put out a statement that was obtained by THR, saying, "Making 'Westworld' has been one of the highlights of our careers. We are deeply grateful to our extraordinary cast and crew for creating these indelible characters and brilliant worlds." The statement continued with, "We've been privileged to tell these stories about the future of consciousness — both human and beyond — in the brief window of time before our AI overlords forbid us from doing so."