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It’s Official: HBO’s “Vinyl” Is Cancelled

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HBO’s “Vinyl” will not be returning for a second season.

The freshman series was created by Mick Jagger, Martin Scorsese, Terence Winter and Rich Cohen and it centered around the high-octane record executive Richie Finestra (Bobby Cannavale), as he made his way through the wild and untethered music scene of the ’70s.  The show also starred Ray Romano, Olivia Wilde and James Jagger.

The show premiered in February in a ten-episode burst that left critics and fans befuddled. In spite of the Scorsese-directed pilot, the show felt disorganized, centerless and prosaic. There were some truly great moments of glorious chaos, but ultimately “Vinyl” felt choked by its own ambitions and suffered from frenetic pacing and soggy plot-lines.

In spite of that, only four days after its premiere, the show was given a full second season order.

Then the ratings came in. The Scorsese pilot garnered weak numbers and the show never really recovered from such a wobbly lift-off.

Not soon after, Winter left as showrunner and the rumor was the second season would see a departure not only in tone but in the way the stories on “Vinyl” were to be told.

In a statement given to Deadline, HBO said: “As we head into the second season of Vinyl, we have decided it is an appropriate time to make a change in the creative direction of the show…We have enjoyed a longtime partnership with Terry Winter at HBO on projects from The Sopranos to Boardwalk Empire to Vinyl, and we look forward to our next collaboration with him.  We are pleased to welcome Scott Z. Burns, executive producer and showrunner, and Max Borenstein, executive producer, as the new team helming the show.”

Before leaving, Winter told Deadline about the show’s narrative plan: “The series will progress in time like Boardwalk did. So, we’ll probably move forward into 1974 when we come back; ’74 was the year that CBGB’s opened, it was the year that The Ramones kind of formed. The Vietnam War was officially over so you had a lot of guys coming back from that too. In terms of Richie’s (Bobby Cannavale ) story, without spoiling what happens at the end of the season, he’s still alive and moving forward, he’s really on a quest to make good his desire to find something new and do something that makes an impact in this business…”

But with ratings never eclipsing the 750,000 viewers mark, and dipping sometimes to just over 500,000, “Vinyl” was constantly staring down disaster.

In The Hollywood Reporter, Tim Goodman wrote: “Can Vinyl be saved? Yes, but you need to swing a big hammer and get busy.”

HBO wasn’t interested in finding that hammer or in getting that busy and announced yesterday (June 22) the show was officially done.