‘Work in Progress,’ Showtime series made in Chicago, canceled after two seasons
Lilly Wachowski, an executive producer of the show starring Abby McEnany, calls the decision ‘a major bummer.’
“Work in Progress,” the acclaimed Showtime series starring Chicago’s Abby McEnany, has been canceled after two seasons, showrunner Lilly Wachowski revealed Thursday.
“It was a major bummer,” Wachowski tweeted, adding that she received the news just before Thanksgiving.
On the semi-autobiographical show, which was shot in Chicago, McEnany played a self-proclaimed “fat, queer dyke” named Abby who’s depressed and battling suicidal impulses.
Wachowski, who with sister Lana created the “Matrix” film franchise, co-wrote many of the “Work in Progress” episodes. She said in her Twitter thread that she was told the cancellation decision was financial.
“The bottom line did not work for them compared to our viewership, which could be optimistically defined as discerning/niche,” Wachowski wrote. “We were told it went down from season 1 to season 2. (Ok, very discerning!)”
She thanked Showtime for making “this super queer and beautiful show” possible but expressed frustration over its demise.
“Shows like ours get trotted out to illustrate how networks and studios are soooo committed to diversity but then get cut before they can establish a viewership,” she wrote. “It is a bit of a vicious cycle. At what point does the ‘commitment and championing of diversity’ end? If the answer to that question is at the bottom line of a profits and loss spreadsheet, then maybe you’re not really invested in diversity at all.”
Showtime confirmed the cancellation and said it was “incredibly proud” of the show’s two seasons. “We look forward to having our subscribers continue to discover this special series on Showtime’s streaming platforms for years to come,” the channel said.
“Work in Progress” is nominated for outstanding comedy series at the GLAAD Media Awards to be presented in spring.
Also axed at Showtime is “Black Monday,” the Wall Street comedy starring Don Cheadle that ran for three seasons.
As for “Work in Progress,” Wachowski wrote, “If any executive is seeing this our show is available!!!”