HBO Cancels Another Fan-Favorite Sci-Fi Show

Avenue 5 has been canceled at HBO Max.

By Mark McKee | Updated

If you are a fan of virtually any HBO Max project, you are likely just waiting for the news to drop that it has been canceled; you can’t be heartbroken over what you expect to happen after all. After months of axe after axe, the streaming service has dropped multiple beloved projects while extending some more divisive ones, like Mindy Kaling’s Velma. According to Deadline, the streaming service finally realized that Avenue 5 was still on the slate and sent its cast and crew to the unemployment line. 

In the report, Deadline reveals that a spokesperson for the Warner Bros. Discovery-owned streaming service confirmed that they would not be returning for a third season. They did, however, leave the door open for more projects with creator Armando Iannucci, calling going to space with him an incredible journey and adding they look forward to more projects with him in the future. Avenue 5 joins a long list of science fiction projects axed by HBO Max, including Made for Love with Cristin Milioti, Raised by Wolves, and the beloved (albeit divisive) Westworld with Tessa Thompson, Evan Rachel Wood, Jeffrey Wright, and Thandie Newton. 

There are multiple reasons this news should come as no surprise to fans, the first of which is the above streak of axing, like an angry lumberjack chopping down everything in sight. The second reason is the news that series star Hugh Laurie was confirmed as the lead for Season 3 of Apple TV’s Tehran. Still, seeing a car coming barreling toward you doesn’t make it hurt any less when it hits. 

avenue 5

Avenue 5 follows the story of the titular ship as it drifts through space after a loss of artificial gravity and the accidental death of its chief engineer. Captain Ryan Clark (Laurie) has to find a way to keep his passengers calm as the ship drifts 0.21 degrees off course, and a return to Earth (and safety) is estimated to take three years to complete. While three years sounds like a pleasant cruise through the experience of space, the mere eight weeks’ worth of resources makes death a virtual certainty. 

Joining Hugh Laurie in Avenue 5 is Josh Gad, who is best known for voicing Olaf in Disney’s Frozen franchise, playing the loyal sidekick to Gaston (Luke Evans), Le Fou in the live-action remake of Beauty and the Beast, and starring alongside the late Chadwick Boseman in the historical Biopic, Marshal. Zach Woods, best known for Toby’s replacement as a much-hated Human Resources killjoy in The Office, also appears. Rebecca Front, Suzy Nakamura, and Lenora Crichlow also lend their talents to create a full cast of intriguing characters. 

While none of these actors will have a difficult time finding work following the cancellation of Avenue 5, losing the series digs the HBO Max knife a little deeper. The open wound from their long list of cancellations seems to keep getting pounds of salt dumped into it as we wait for the ship to turn. Armando Iannucci won’t be taking any time away from the streaming service, as he is gearing up for The Franchise with James Bond savant Sam Mendes next.