Here’s the first big canceled show of the year — and it’s on Max

Rhys Darby in Our Flag Means Death season 2
(Image credit: WarnerMedia)

Max's fan-favorite pirate comedy Our Flag Means Death has officially walked the plank, making it the first big canceled show of 2024.

Creator David Jenkins' swashbuckling series has been canceled after just two seasons comprised of 18 episodes. The show, starring Rhys Darby and Taika Waititi as Stede Bonnet and Captain Blackbeard, won't be returning for a third season.

Jenkins confirmed the news on his personal Instagram account, calling the “bad news” clear. 

"OUR FLAG won’t be returning for a third season," he wrote. "We’ve sailed at the pleasure of the fine people at Max, and it brought them no joy to see this journey come to a premature end. Casey Bloys, Sarah Aubrey, Suzanna Makkos, Billy Wee, and David Ruby have been incredible champions of this show. They allowed us to make something authentically weird and heartfelt, cheering us on the entire way."

Our Flag Means Death debuted in 2022, introducing the world to a story loosely based on the real-life man known as "Gentleman Pirate" Stede Bonnet (Darby), who originally abandoned his family in 1717 and set off on an adventure as a pirate. He's seen as a bumbling, privileged man who has no idea what to do as a pirate in the first place. He buys a ship, hires a crew, and somehow makes his way through Barbados living the pirate life, until he eventually falls in love with Blackbeard (Waititi). 

Rhys Darby as Stede Bonnet and Taika Waiiti as Captian Blackbeard in Our Flag Means Death

(Image credit: Aaron Epstein/HBO Max)

The series landed an overall 94% score at Rotten Tomatoes, striking a chord among a variety of critics and audiences alike. It was praised for its LGBTQ+ representation and willingness to put a same-sex couple front and center in the story, smart comedy, and genuinely fun adventures. 

Disappointed fans took to X (formerly known as Twitter) to express their frustration at the show's abrupt cancellation. 

"Our flag means death deserves better! Don't let it get the Firefly treatment," one wrote.

"Know what? @StreamOnMax doesn’t deserve Our Flag Means Death. I hope it gets a third season somewhere that will give it a budget and full ten (or more) episodes that it should have had all along," another proclaimed.

"Started the first episode of Our Flag Means Death last night. Find out this morning it was canceled after 2 seasons," wrote a third

A Max spokesperson told The Hollywood Reporter, “While Max will not be moving forward with a third season of Our Flag Means Death, we are so proud of the joyous, hilarious, and heartfelt stories that creator David Jenkins, Taika Waititi, Rhys Darby, Garrett Basch, Dan Halsted, Adam Stein, Antoine Douaihy, and the entire superb cast and crew brought to life.

"We also thank the dedicated fans who embraced these stories and built a gorgeous, inclusive community surrounding the show."

The first two seasons remain available for streaming on Max (for now). 

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Brittany Vincent

Brittany Vincent has been covering video games and tech for over 13 years for publications including Tom's Guide, MTV, Rolling Stone, CNN, Popular Science, Playboy, IGN, GamesRadar, Polygon, Kotaku, Maxim, and more. She's also appeared as a panelist at video game conventions like PAX East and PAX West and has coordinated social media for companies like CNET. When she's not writing or gaming, she's looking for the next great visual novel in the vein of Saya no Uta. You can follow her on Twitter @MolotovCupcake.