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.

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