HBO just canceled The Time Traveler’s Wife after a single season

An image taken from the HBO series The Time Traveler’s Wife
(Image credit: HBO)

HBO has dropped the cancellation axe on The Time Traveler’s Wife, killing the intricate and magic-infused show after just one season. 

An HBO spokesperson told Deadline that the series won’t be getting a second season, meaning you’ll only have a total of six episodes, which takes Audrey Niffenegger’s novel of the same name and translate it to TV screens, to watch on HBO Max

“Though HBO will not be moving forward with a second season of The Time Traveler’s Wife, it was our privilege to partner with master storytellers Steven Moffat and David Nutter,” the HBO spokeswoman said. “We are so grateful for their passion, hard work and care for adapting this beloved book. We also thank Theo and Rose, and the rest of our brilliant cast for their heartfelt performances, which completely captivated audiences."

Developed and written by Steven Moffat of Doctor Who fame, The Time Traveler’s Wife sees Henry DeTamble (played by Theo James), a man with a genetic disorder that causes him to sporadically travel through time for brief periods, become romantically involved with Clare Abshire (played by Rose Leslie, best known for her roles in Downton Abbey and Game of Thrones). 

The story explores the dilemma of a marriage where time travel is involved; for example a 6-year-old Clare meets an older Henry, who has traveled from the future, then meets him again fourteen years later, where he's working in a library, where Clare then claims to have known him all her life and is to be his future wife. Desmin Borges as Gomez, and Natasha Lopez as Charisse, are the two other prominent cast members. 

Despite this intriguing premise, recognizable actors and Moffat’s background with sci-fi style writing, The Time Traveler’s Wife didn’t win critical acclaim. 

On Rotten Tomatoes, it has a 37% approval rating based on critics’ reviews. The Hollywood Reporter's Angie Han basically said the series failed to deliver any real romance, noting: “Perhaps there is, in the end, nothing all that romantic about learning to live with some dude you don’t even like that much, but can’t ever escape for reasons outside your control.” 

Rotten Tomatoes’ average audience score saw the The Time Traveler’s Wife get an 85% approval rating, which is more positive. But the overall feeling is it’s far from essential viewing, And that means it’s not hugely surprising that the series has been chopped by HBO; far more surprising is HBO’s cancellation of the critically-acclaimed Made for Love

If you were going to give The Time Traveler’s Wife a watch but have decided against it, may we recommend watching Succession, or taking a look at the best shows and movies on HBO Max to watch right now. We also have the one Netflix movie to stream this weekend and the one Netflix show you need to binge watch this month

Roland Moore-Colyer

Roland Moore-Colyer a Managing Editor at Tom’s Guide with a focus on news, features and opinion articles. He often writes about gaming, phones, laptops and other bits of hardware; he’s also got an interest in cars. When not at his desk Roland can be found wandering around London, often with a look of curiosity on his face.