A Fan-Favorite Comedy Series Is Being Cancelled

By Cristina Alexander | 2 months ago

All good shows must come to an end at some point. Sometimes, they end a little sooner than we would like them to, like Friends or Brooklyn 99. A fan-favorite comedy on Hulu has fallen victim to the unexpected cancellation at the hands of… its own creators. Pen15, the Emmy Award-nominated comedy produced by AwesomenessTV, is getting cancelled after two seasons.

A Hulu representative confirmed the news about Pen15‘s cancellation to Variety on Monday, stating that creators Maya Erskine and Anna Konkle “feel that the story they wanted to tell has come to an end with the upcoming second half of Season 2.” The representative added that Hulu will leave the door open for future episodes of the show and that they look forward to working with Erskine and Konkle again if they are open to it. Otherwise, the remaining episodes of the current-turned-final season will premiere on the Disney-owned streaming platform on December 3.

The decision to end Pen15 after two seasons was made entirely by Maya Erskine and Anna Konkle, who play 13-year-old versions of themselves on the comedy produced by AwesomenessTV. The 34-year-old duo told The New Yorker that they always envisioned ending the series at Season 3, at which point the main characters would have already moved on to eighth grade. But the COVID-19 pandemic and the safety precautions that came with it made producing the remainder of the show extremely difficult. It was hard to the point that the episode where Maya and Anna visit Florida with the latter character’s father was rendered into an animated special that Konkle directed remotely, so now the creators are ending the show with one less season.

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Pen15 getting cancelled came as a total surprise to fans. The series became a breakout hit for Hulu since its release in February 2019, garnering critical acclaim, a devoted fanbase, and a surprise Emmy nomination during this year’s awards show circuit. The show stars Maya Erskine and Anna Konkle as 13-year-old versions of themselves at the turn of the 21st century, while the rest of the middle school characters are played by actual teenagers.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Pen15 was greenlit for a series in April 2018 after Hulu screened a hilarious 15-minute pilot presentation that saw Maya Erskine and Anna Konkle playing as their adolescent counterparts. The duo also provided backup scripts for the series along with former co-showrunner Sam Zvibleman. Aside from Erskine and Konkle, the show was executive produced by Andy Samberg, Akiva Schaffer, Jorman Taccone, Marc Provissiero, and Brooke Pobjoy, as well as Debbie Liebling and Gabe Liedman.

Pen15 is the most popular raunchy teen comedy to reign the streaming industry since Nick Kroll brought Big Mouth to Netflix, so it’s understandable that Hulu and its subscribers would be heartbroken over its sudden cancellation. The circumstances surrounding Maya Erskine and Anna Konkle’s decision to ax it are further complicated by the fact that they have now become parents, and that Sam Zvibleman had resigned from the show, leaving the duo to finish out Season 2 alone. As much as Hulu wants to keep working with the duo on creating more stories for the show, they made it clear they want to take an indefinite break from it and focus on other things. At least the streamer has Hilary Duff’s How I Met Your Father to look forward to.