HBO bloodbath: ‘Newsroom,’ ‘Boardwalk,’ ‘True Blood,’ ‘Treme’ all axed

With every cancelation, HBO is starting to feel less like a network and more like Fisher & Sons Funeral Home.

In 2014, the paycaster will air the final seasons of Aaron Sorkin‘s “The Newsroom,” Emmy magnet “Boardwalk Empire” and vampire thriller “True Blood.” That’s in addition to the final episodes of “Treme” that aired last month. Those four series account for 80% of HBO’s entire drama slate, making this the epitome of a transition year.

The Newsroom” has won one Emmy from three nominations:
Best Drama Actor Jeff Daniels (2013)

Boardwalk Empire” has won 17 Emmys from 40 nominations, including:
Drama Supporting Actor Bobby Cannavale (2013);
Best Drama Directors Martin Scorsese (2011) and Tim Van Patten (2012)

True Blood” has won one Emmy from 13 nominations:
Best Drama Casting (2009)

Treme” has lost both of its 2010 Emmy nominations (Best Drama Directing and Original Music & Lyrics).

There’s only a single returning drama series on HBO’s schedule that hasn’t yet met the grim reaper: “Game of Thrones.” The popular fantasy series returns for its highly-anticipated fourth season on April 6 — watch the new trailer below.

HBO’s comedy rundown is slightly more stable, with returning favorites “Girls” and “Veep” as popular as ever, “Curb Your Enthusiasm” perpetually waiting in the wings, and “Hello Ladies” and “Getting On” hoping to return for second seasons.

With “The Newsroom,” “Boardwalk Empire,” “True Blood” and “Treme” all circling the drain, where does HBO go from here?

Their new limited-run anthology series “True Detective” (starring Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson) premiered Sunday night and could be a hit for many iterations to come, just like FX’s “American Horror Story” franchise.

And there are a handful of new shows coming down the pipeline, including the gay-themed dramedy “Looking,” Ryan Murphy‘s “Open” and David Milch‘s “The Money.”

But still, the pain of saying goodbye to four out of five dramas within the same year is going to take a while to get used to. After all, this is HBO, which used to put all other nets to shame with its annual domination of the Emmy headlines. Can you believe it’s been seven years since HBO won Best Drama Series (“The Sopranos,” 2007) and 13 years since it won Best Comedy Series (“Sex and the City,” 2001)?

HBO’s waning drama series woes are similar to those of AMC, which said goodbye to “Breaking Bad” in 2013 and is now gearing up for the final episodes of “Mad Men” (seven episodes will air in 2014 and seven more in 2015). Like HBO, the revolving door of departing series will also leave AMC with just one flagship show on its roster: “The Walking Dead.”

Do you think “Boardwalk Empire” can score a victory at the SAG awards as Best TV Drama Ensemble? Vote at the bottom of this post in our easy drag-and-drop menu.

4 thoughts on “HBO bloodbath: ‘Newsroom,’ ‘Boardwalk,’ ‘True Blood,’ ‘Treme’ all axed

  1. This past season of Boardwalk Empire was a snooze fest. While all the elements for that show are superb-set costumes performances, the pace of the episodes leaves much to be desired. The prior season of BE was great thanks to Bobbie C. But with his departure so went the momentum. I hope they at least do a fitting conclusion and don’t ruin the last season like what happened to Dexter. That was really disgraceful.

  2. I have to strongly disagree with you Sarge. I believe that this was the best paced Empire season. In the past this show was stretching to include characters that were boring or truncated so that they could cram as many charter situations possible in the hour long show. The problem with that in past seasons were archs I just didn’t care about and felt distracted by. This season changed that for me, I have always hated Margret’s role in the past and was happy she was only relegated to a few scenes. As for Van Alden, I just couldn’t see any reason for him to have any impact in the past, it made sense to add depth to his character by his new connection with the Capone brothers. The things that happened to Eddie and the skill in which the actor portayed him were so perfect, for once I actually cared about Eddie and felt amazingly sad by his suicide. Patricia Arquette was the love interest for Nucky that finally made sense, I loved her witt and strength, Nucky met his true match. What happened to Jillian was somewhat deserved but so very destructive. She had done terrible things, no one is purely good nor purely bad, but she was a victim of some horrible atrocities in her history. She and Jimmy were almost like to lost orphan children together, despite her mistakes I understood her character and felt happy for her when it seemed as though she had a chance to be happy. My favorite character really continued to develop, Richard was the best haunted soul on the show. He was no doubt a killer, but I believe he lived by an advanced concept of morality higher than any character in the show. His death was the loss I felt the most, but I also think it was the most appropriate end. Chalky wasn’t just a person alienated from the life had provided for his family but felt lonely in their company. We were given a look at a deeper part of his emotions, he had felt a connection to Daughter that revealed what the man was really like once he took off his armor. I will miss this show almost as much as the Soprano’s.

  3. The horror, the horror! FX is in a similar position with Sons of Anarchy ending this year and Justified ending next year. That just leaves them with The Americans, is that right? 2015-2016 is going to be a super bleak year for dramas. I wish Justified would stick around longer. I badly need Timothy Olyphant in a cowboy hat on my television screen.

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