Showtime's Work in Progress was canceled after just two seasons, and it's creators aren't happy.
Work in Progress was one of the best written and acted shows on television, and it's star, Abby McEnany, was the type of queer person we never see on TV. But this wasn't enough to prevent the show from being canceled. Now, the show's producer, Lilly Wachowski is speaking out.
"Right before the Thanksgiving holiday, I got the extremely disappointing news from the execs at Showtime that Work in Progress was not going to be picked up for a third season. It was a major bummer," Wachowski tweeted. She continued, talking about how making the show during the pandemic was "extremely difficult" and felt "grim" and "antiseptic."
Still, she was able to find joy in the project again towards the end of making the show when vaccines became available. She said "as we neared the end of the season editorially, the last episodes like train cars coming into the station, I was beaming with pride with everything we had accomplished."
However, she also knew that show business will always be a business first, and after declining viewership and two seasons, Work in Progress was being canceled.
She pointed out how the show has been making top ten lists and was recently nominated for a GLAAD Award, but still, "that isn't enough to overcome the bottom line." This is where she got really serious, calling out the network that canceled the show.
"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 said. "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 at all," she added. "An investment in diversity isn't meaningful if ultimately studios and networks justify cancellations based on the bottom line. Those are just, you know, regular investments."
She emphasized that she is thankful for Showtime for airing the show, but that she's "not content or happy to just be here," and she called for change.
"This industry should be pushed to create more meaningful support systems for the art that they help create," Wachowski continued. "Shows like Gentefied and Vida and South Side (why the hell hasn't this show been picked up yet!? It's fantastic!) and Shrill and Work in Progress need more meaningful commitments than just an intersection between art and commerce or a deal with the devil."
Work in Progress was widely praised for portraying the life of a self-proclaimed "fat, queer dyke," who is older and also has mental illness and deals with suicidal ideation. It was unlike any other show on TV. Knowing that it won't be continuing is a true blow to LGBTQ+ representation on TV. Vida and Gentefied were two recently canceled shows that pushed forward LGBTQ+ Latine representation.
Wachowski ended her tweet thread by calling for all the talented creatives on the show to get hired by new projects. That's exactly what we're hoping for as well. We can't wait to see what they do next.
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