The 1970s period piece, starring Bobby Cannavale as the head of a fictional New York City record label, was a big bet for HBO. Created by a powerful cabal of entertainment giants — Mick Jagger, Martin Scorsese, Rich Cohen, and Terence Winter — the show announced its ambitions with a two-hour pilot that reportedly cost $30 million.
But the reviews were decidedly mixed (I hated it!), and after Winter, the showrunner, announced his departure from the series before its first season was up, it was clear the show was on shaky ground.
With HBO’s flagship drama Game of Thrones set to go off the air soon — showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss told Variety recently that they plan to wrap things up with just 13 more episodes after the current season ends on Sunday — the cable giant likely hoped Vinyl would have the star power and visual panache to replace it.
That’s obviously not going to happen, but there’s hope for HBO yet: With the new Sarah Jessica Parker vehicle Divorce (created by Catastrophe‘s Sharon Horgan) set to premiere in the fall — plus the buzzy Issa Rae series Insecure and the former web series High Maintenance — HBO’s future looks promising. As the saying goes, anything but Vinyl!