HBO has canceled coming-of-age comedy Gordita Chronicles.
According to Deadline, the show, which launched only last month to real critical acclaim, earning itself a 100% Rotten Tomatoes rating in the process, has now been axed and will not get a second season, at least not on HBO Max.
Set in the 1980s, the show followed 12-year-old Carlota “Cucu” Castelli who leaves her home in Santo Domingo to pursue the American Dream after her father's work takes him to Miami.
The show starred Diana-Maria Riva and Olivia Goncalves, with Juan Javier Cardenas, Savannah Nicole Ruiz, Noah Rico, Cosette Hauer and Dascha Polanco in supporting roles.
Speaking about the decision, a spokesperson for HBO Max told Deadline: “Live-action, kids and family programming will not be part of our programming focus in the immediate future, and as a result, we’ve had to make the very difficult decision to end Gordita Chronicles at HBO Max.
They continued: “The series earned critical acclaim and a loyal following, and we are proud to have worked with creator Claudia Forestieri and our two powerhouse executive producers, Eva Longoria (who also masterfully directed the pilot) and Zoe Saldaña, to bring Cucu’s journey to the screen. We thank them and the talented cast and crew for creating such a heartfelt, groundbreaking show that connected deeply with a very important demographic.”
Eva Longoria and Marvel Cinematic Universe star Zoe Saldana, who both served as executive producers on Gordita Chronicles, issued their own statement, bemoaning the cancelation.
They wrote: “We are heartbroken by the larger programming changes at HBO Max that will not allow our special show that is Gordita Chronicles, showrun by LatinX comedy powerhouse Brigitte Muñoz-Liebowitz, to have a second season at its original home. As producers and storytellers who are continually seeking out the authentic and original stories that highlight our community’s joy and talent, we are so proud to have worked on this piece of magic.”
They continued: “We continue to be blown away by the overwhelmingly positive critical response coupled with our growing audience numbers, which prove that viewers recognize the importance of this show’s existence and the crucial space it is filling for LatinX content in the media landscape.”
Analysis: HBO is in a brutal mood
Normally, when a show is canceled, you get a statement which is a cursory round of thank yous and platitudes, which declines to mention whatever the real reason for the axe was, whether that's poor viewing figures or bad reviews.
But not this time.
This statement is direct. “Live-action, kids and family programming will not be part of our programming focus in the immediate future”, HBO is streamlining and it is only interested in dramas aimed at adults, the ones who control the purse strings in a household.
Warner Bros. Discovery is on an epic round of cost-cutting after it merged earlier in 2022, and, thus far, HBO has axed The Time Traveler's Wife after a single season, period drama Gentleman Jack and animated comedy Close Enough. That's not to mention the array of cancelations at Adult Swim and on TBS, TNT and TruTV.
With excellent reviews and a cast that is unlikely to be all that pricey, Gordita Chronicles may well get picked up elsewhere, but its demise, at least for now, is a sign that HBO is having to make some very, very hard choices.