Despite low, low ratings, Enlightened has been renewed for a second season by HBO. It seems that those two Golden Globe nominations came at a really good time.
Co-created by Laura Dern and Mike White, Enlightened revolves around Amy Jellicoe (Dern) — a self-destructive executive who has a very public breakdown. After attending a rehab program in Hawaii, she finds that her friends and family aren’t ready to accept her new self. The TV series also stars White, Diane Ladd, Luke Wilson, Sarah Burns, Amy Hill, and Timm Sharp.
The show debuted on October 10th with a 0.1 rating in the 18-49 demographic and 210,000 total viewers. Bored to Death, whose third season also kicked off on that night, attracted 30,000 more viewers. It was hardly a positive start for Dern and company. Subsequent episodes attracted even fewer viewers and hit a low mid-season with just 90,000. After that, the numbers improved and the finale outperformed the debut with 263,000 viewers.
HBO has now cancelled three higher-rated shows (Hung, How to Make It in America, and Bored to Death) but has chosen to renew Enlightened for a second season of 10 episodes. The cable channel likely wants to see if the audience will grow if given more time, especially in light of the added publicity from two Golden Globe nominations. Since most viewers aren’t aware of ratings data, HBO often seems to make decisions based on what will help build their brand and image.
White reacted to the renewal by saying, “I know HBO has had to make some hard decisions. I feel very lucky that they are letting us make more Enlightened. We will do our best to make something cool.”
What do you think? Do you watch Enlightened? Should it have been renewed or cancelled? Was one of the other HBO shows more deserving of a renewal?
Image courtesy HBO.