Enlightened: Season Two for Laura Dern Series

Enlightened season twoDespite 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?

Canceled and renewed TV show

32 Comments · Read them below or add one

  1. name says

    just finished watching enlightened over two days, and it was the best new show of the season. watching it in blocks is probably the best way to view this show. you a need a few to fall into it’s rhymn. by the end i was so pumped, and so wanted s2 to be starting straight away. deffo feel this to be up there with louie, breaking bad and mad men. just all the components of the show come together to bring this really cool, refreshing, enthusiastic production. all the naysayers have their opinion, which is wonderful, so when someone likes this show, their opinion is equal, the talk of “super minority opinion” and pettiness like that, is just weird not cool. looking forward to rewatching this.

  2. Michael says

    I just finished watching the season of Enlightened on demand and am very much looking forward to the new season. Great cast and I really want to know what happens next.

  3. Tink says

    Enlighted is an amazing show and I’m surpised it’s not doing better. Dern is so convincing as the annoyingly reborn good hearted corprate worker. The whole cast is pretty solid, unlike hung or bored to death. Hung is cheap gimick: big ***** man is a gigalo, its been done time and time again. If that’s what you are into, just wait a new big ***** will undoubtedly come along. Bored to death had much potential but after watching five sodes I quit that show, I didn’t even giggle once. That was very surprising to me cuz I love zach and Jason S. Enlightened deserves another shot, mike white is a talented writer/director/ actor! Can’t wait to see if Levi went to rehab and if amy will bring abbodon down!

  4. Paul B says

    In the UK we get some of these on Satellite, as late evening entertainment I’d say Bored To Death is the better, but the Ray storylines are rather one dimensional. Enlightened isn’t exactly challenging but is more watchable than 100+ channels of reruns and reality TV so regularly works its way on to my Tivo box – it may not hit the spot in the US but to us outsiders it’s better than many. The recurrent drug abuse themes which seem to run through many HBO and Showtime titles should be more of a concern to those commissioning these shows – they may account for the diminishing viewing figures and if as many viewers were drug users as characters, the advertisers should run for cover!

  5. shirley w says

    Oh yes.. forgot to say.. Bored To Death had me exactly that. Cras and basic toilet humor . Good decision to bin it and keep enlightened.

  6. shirley w says

    I have just finished watching all ten episodes of Enlightened and found it to be refreshingly real for a change. Real emotions, real breakdown, real ex-husband and mother issues and real work problems. Ms Derne acts her part brilliantly and so does her mum and Luke Wilson. The only thing I think could be improved is the level of light relief in it. It can be a bit depressing watching her constantly being rejected by everyone – but that could be because I watched the series more or less back to back and also maybe that’s the point! I loved it and can’t wait for the next series.

  7. Bethany says

    I agree that Hung being canceled was a HUGE mistake, and am actually shocked that Enlightened made the cut. True Blood, Game of Thrones, and Boardwalk Empire are now the only shows I guess I will be watching on HBO. I don’t even tune in regularly to their movies anymore, and with all the sports they have on the MOVIE CHANNEL (Home Box Office just never meant sports to me.) and now with shows like this beating out Hung??? I only subscribe to the network so I can watch True Blood (and yesteryear I watched Sopranos of course) and it looks like I will be giving up my subscription if they reup a show like this in place of that one. (Not to mention I am probably not alone there). Maybe it will grow on me, but I usually have a firm grip on a weather or not a show is worth watching pretty quick, and unless this show pulls a Growing Pains on me I don’t see it being worth giving up better programming for.

  8. Beth says

    I watched the first episode of this show and I barely made it. Bored to death was funny! Ted Danson stoned is the best! Hung would be better if they showed actually *****!

  9. says

    I have watched every series on HBO and Showtime for the last 10 years and usually like most of them. IMO this is the worst series by far. The ratings suggest I’m correct and I can’t believe HBO is bringing this trash back for another season. The ratings are horrendous and let’s be honest folks we all know there is very little chance the ratings will pick up.

    The show is boring folks. It appeals to maybe a very small group of people and it’s a shame this series survied over the 3 that were recently cancelled.

    • says


      You have a right to your opinion but your is a super minority opinion. I work will a large group of people who watch Showtime and HBO and not one likes Enlightened. To start with the show is boring. It’s also way to political and right off the bat turns off half the american public. It’s also a women’s show and again loses have their potential audience.

      Seriously can anyone compare this show to Sopanos, Dexter, Homeland, Game of Thrones, Deadwood, Carnival, Sex in the City, Weeds, Brotherhood, etc. etc. IMO there has never been a worse series on HBO and Showtime and the current and future ratings will demonstrate that.

  10. Jeremy Rynek says

    Yes, I don’t even watch bored to death and I know that was more deserving. WTF was HBO thinking, I mean really? I watched the first 4 episodes and just couldn’t take it anymore. I really thought Hung would be safe considering it was the most interesting of the three. But I guess it was a big mistake not to put Hung with True Blood. WTFE honestly, HBO you just went down a few points. Now Showtime could take over as being my favorite premium channel.

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