Ziwe has been canceled at Showtime and the network is also not moving forward with a comedy series based on the Black cult-classic film, The Wood.
Made popular for its eponymous host’s zing-laden, sarcastic style of interviewing, Ziwe canceled after two seasons, as reported by The Hollywood Reporter. To add insult to injury, the show was seemingly canceled because of the network’s decision to greenlight Seasoned, a new comedy hailing from Mandy Patinkin.
The outlet also reports that Showtime has also canceled The Wood, the series based on the classic 1999 film, which had already set its cast. Vince Staples, Xavier Mills, Karen Obilom, Melvin Gregg and Essence Renae were cast in the pilot with original film stars Richard T. Jones and Tamala Jones appearing in guest roles.
On the flip side, the Courtney B. Vance and Angela Bassett-starring film Heist 88 has now moved to Showtime from its original home at Paramount+.
Chris McCarthy, the new head of Showtime, has been behind the cancellations and reshufflings as he aligns Showtime for its upcoming merger with Paramount. One of the latest casualties of his reign has been King Shaka, which had just been announced as canceled Tuesday before ever setting a premiere date, albeit with the promise of being shopped to other networks. The series had finished filming its first season before the cancellation.
McCarthy’s plan seems to be to stick with tried-and-true, bigger-budget productions that already have commercial success, such as The Chi, Dexter, Billions, Yellowjackets and Yellowstone. However, this is proving deadly to more seemingly niche shows like Ziwe and The L Word: Generation Q. The Hollywood Reporter also writes that American Gigolo and Let the Right One In has also gotten cancelled for being “bubble shows.” Other shows have been sold to other streamers and networks, such as Ripley, which is now going to air on Netflix, and Three Women, which is now at Starz.
The network bloodbath has been fierce in 2023, with HBO Max and Showtime unintentionally competing to see how many shows they can let go, some of them even before they’ve had a chance to air. These cancellations are seemingly spelling a new, potentially demoralizing age in the TV wars that increases the anxiety for creators who want their offbeat or otherwise niche projects greenlit and secured at a network.