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Westworld canceled by HBO ahead of season 5

Season 5 was planned to conclude the series

Evan Rachel Wood as Dolores Abernathy in Westworld season 3. Photo: John P. Johnson/HBO

Westworld is coming to an end, one season before it was planned to. HBO canceled the sci-fi mystery series on Friday, just a few months after the end of its fourth season. The original plan for the series, according to co-creators Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy, was to tell the series’ entire story in five seasons.

Westworld first premiered in 2016 and instantly became a hit, drawing audiences in with its multi-layered mysteries and mix of futuristic and wild west settings. The series maintained its popularity through season 2, but it fell off sharply in the third season after leaving the Westworld part of its android-filled theme park behind. Finally, the series’ fourth season, which ended in August, struggled even more to break through with audiences.

This decision comes amidst a number of cuts at HBO parent company, Warner Bros. Discovery. The company has canceled a number of shows and movies in the last few months, as it retools its brand to be more focused on theatrical blockbusters and long-running franchises. During an earnings call on Thursday, the company announced its disappointing financials for the quarter, while CEO David Zaslav doubled down on his commitment to franchise filmmaking, including hopes for new entries of series like Harry Potter.

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