Max Cancels Crime Series After Season 2

By Charlene Badasie | Updated

tokyo vice

The crime drama Tokyo Vice has been canceled by Max after Season 2. The announcement came during a panel at the Produced By conference in Los Angeles. Fortunately, the series was created with a two-season arc, which neatly wrapped up its story line during the April 4 finale, “Endgame.” Lead actor Ansel Elgort had also committed to only two seasons of the series, aligning with the original plan.

A Happy Ending (Kind Of)

Tokyo vice

Reflecting on their journey in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter, Tokyo Vice creators J.T. Rogers and director Alan Poul thanked Max for their unwavering support throughout the show’s development and production. They credited the platform for agreeing to pivotal creative decisions, including cliffhangers at the end of season one and additional episodes to ensure a satisfying conclusion.

Rogers and Poul also acknowledged the production company behind Tokyo Vice. “We’re grateful not only to Max but to our partners, Fifth Season, who sold the show around the world and made it a global success story,” the joint statement from Rogers and Poul continued. They were in the trenches with us always, guaranteeing that we could make the show we wanted to make.”

Gone But Not Forgotten

Tokyo Vice

“The response from both the press and from fans, in particular to [Tokyo Vice] Season 2, has been overwhelming,” the pair added. “It’s been thrilling to find out how deeply viewers have engaged with our characters and to hear how they are clamoring for more.” Despite the positive reception, the series became a casualty of the ongoing trend of streamers and networks streamlining their content offerings.

Max’s decision to cancel Tokyo Vice follows a string of similar moves as platforms reassess their programming strategies in response to evolving market dynamics. Max is currently recalibrating their slates, prioritizing quality over quantity. While the series may have reached its conclusion, its legacy lives on through its richly crafted storytelling and memorable performances.

Organized Crime In Tokyo Vice

Tokyo Vice

Created by J.T. Rogers, and based on the 2009 memoir by Jake Adelstein, Tokyo Vice premiered on Max in April 2022.  The series follows Jake Adelstein, an American investigative journalist who relocates to Tokyo in 1999 and becomes the first foreign journalist at a major Japanese newspaper. He is taken under the wing of a veteran detective in the organized crime squad.

Together, they delve into the dark and dangerous world of the yakuza despite the official line that “murder does not happen in Tokyo” being maintained by the newspaper and the city. Tokyo Vice stars Ansel Elgort, Ken Watanabe, Rachel Keller, Hideaki Ito, Show Kasamatsu, Ella Rumpf, Rinko Kikuchi, Tomohisa Yamashita, Miki Maya, and Yosuke Kubozuka.

Neo-Noir At Its Finest

Tokyo Vice

The first season of Tokyo Vice consisted of 18 episodes. The second season premiered in February 2024. The series received generally positive reviews, with critics and views praising its setting, aesthetic, and characters. The first season holds an 89 percent critics rating on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, with the consensus stating that the series is a “seductive slice of neo-noir.”

Along with an authentic Japanese setting, Tokyo Vice accurately showcases Asian culture, with filming done on location in Tokyo. Series star Ansel Elgort learned to speak fluent Japanese and trained with professional journalists to prepare for his role. The series is available on Max and its sibling service, HBO Go, in multiple international territories. Wowow holds rights in Japan.

Streaming Tokyo Vice

International distribution rights for Tokyo Vice have been sold to various platforms, including Crave in Canada, Canal+ in France, Paramount+ in Australia, and Starzplay in select European markets. It’s unclear if the series will be shopped around to other streaming platforms or television networks.