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HBO Max just canceled one of its top-performing shows

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HBO Max has confirmed that Raised by Wolves is canceled after two seasons on the streaming service. The disappointing news comes via The Hollywood Reporter (opens in new tab)

The sci-fi series only concluded its second season in March, but it won’t be returning for a third. No official reason for this decision has been given but HBO Max did release a statement confirming the cancellation. 

“While we are not proceeding with a third season of Raised by Wolves, we are beyond grateful to the stellar cast and crew, our creators Aaron Guzikowski, Ridley Scott, David W. Zucker, and the entire team at Scott Free Productions, for their beautiful artistry and unique ability to immerse fans into the world of Kepler-22b," the statement reads. 

Across 18-episodes the show told the story of two androids, named Father and Mother, who must raise a colony of human children on a distant planet (named Kepler-22b) after Earth is consumed by a great war. Raising the last remnants of humanity turns out to be a pretty tricky task and the colony is soon threatened to be torn apart by religious differences among other perils.

Analysis: A rather surprising cancelation

In many ways, this cancelation comes as a bit of shock. For starters, Raised by Wolves was well received by critics. The first season scored a respectable 74% on Rotten Tomatoes (opens in new tab), but season two leaped up to a very impressive 86%. The show also spawned a passionate fanbase with a dedicated Reddit community (opens in new tab) housing almost 34,000 members.   

Of course, as Netflix regularly proves with its own cancelations, critical acclaim isn’t enough to keep a show in production, content primarily needs to attract new subscribers. However, Raised by Wolves appeared to be a success on that front as well. Following its debut in September 2020, HBO Max announced the show was its top-performing original series at that time. So, its cancelation is a real puzzler. 

There has been some online speculation that the show’s demise is thanks in part to the recent WarnerMedia and Discovery merger. This fan theory was stoked further when cast member Abubakar Salim suggested the merger was at least partially to blame in a series of tweets (opens in new tab)

“It’s not surprising, especially after the news of the mergers and what is happening at Warner, that a lot of shows are not having their stories finished. And unfortunately, one of those shows is Raised by Wolves,” Salim posted on June 3. 

Salim also indicated that Raised by Wolves could be picked up by another streaming service or network if there is enough fan support. This has led to the hashtag #RenewRaisedByWolves picking up some steam, although to date there has been no concrete suggestion that the show has a future beyond HBO Max. 

While this cancelation is no doubt disappointing, HBO Max (which has 2 of the 7 best new movies to watch online this week) still tops our ranking of the best streaming services currently available. 

If you looking for something new to watch on HBO Max why not check Succession? Its latest season is one of the best seasons of TV I’ve ever seen. Alternatively, you could get caught up on Our Flag Means Death now that its second season is confirmed. 

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Rory Mellon
Deals Editor

Rory is a Deals Editor at Tom’s Guide based in the UK. He covers a wide range of topics but with a particular focus on deals, gaming and streaming. When he’s not scouring retailers for PS5 restock or writing hot takes on the latest gaming hardware and streaming shows, he can be found attending music festivals and being thoroughly disappointed by his terrible football team.