Thursday, 31 March 2011

HBO cancel 'In Treatment', sort of

Thursday, 31 March 2011

HBO have cancelled In Treatment, after three seasons, in light of the psychotherapy drama's continually low ratings. The third season premiere only attracted 279,000 viewers. However, the phrasing from a HBO spokesperson is peculiar:

"It's true that we have no plans to continue with In Treatment as previously formatted. However, we are in continued conversations with the executive producers to find another way to continue telling these rich stories."
What does that mean? Will the show return, but with a more accessible format? Will Gabriel Byrne's character Dr Paul Westen be given a different show? We'll have to wait and see.

I'm very disappointed by this news. I've only seen In Treatment's first season on DVD, but it's one of my favourites purely from watching that box-set religiously every day for a month. In Treatment's second season is coming to Sky Atlantic very soon, with the DVD set for an October release. I assume the final season won't air in the UK until mid-2012.

Oh well. Its cancellation is understandable. In Treatment just didn't find a big audience, despite its critical acclaim and awards success (Dianne Wiest won the Best Supporting Actress Emmy in 2008, while Byrne himself got two Best Actor nominations.) It's just a pity the show's kudos and good reviews never equated to viewers. Maybe the show's unique format (a five episodes per week format, each half-hour focusing on a different, returning client) meant it was too hard for casual viewers to be drawn in once it had started.