More shakeups are happening at HBO Max in the wake of their merger with Discovery +. In anticipation of a new phase at the corporate level, the streaming platform had already done away with production of original scripted series in late summer. Now it seems many of their unscripted original titles are getting the axe as well.
Both the ballroom competition LEGENDARY and the Issa Rae-produced friendship saga Sweet Life: Los Angeles have officially been cancelled at HBO Max.
LEGENDARY enjoyed three seasons on the streaming platform. Hosted by famed celebrity stylist Law Roach, rap superstar Megan Thee Stallion, actresses Keke Palmer and Jameela Jamil, and ballroom legend Leiomy Maldonado, the show pit different houses against each other in an epic battle of costuming and choreography, celebrating traditions of Black queer culture.
According to reporting from Deadline, the show’s grandiosity, though endearing to fans, was and over-the-top budgetary expense for the streamer, which had already ceased order of new unscripted series earlier this year. Though HBO Max had asserted that they would continue to invest in some of its already existing unscripted titles, both LEGENDARY and another popular unscripted competition title, F-Boy Island, were deemed “too expensive” to continue production under new company priorities.
Sweet Life: Los Angeles was the third announcement in this string of cancellations, after just two seasons on HBO Max. The brainchild of HBO darling Issa Rae and named for the Frank Ocean single “Sweet Life,” the show followed a group of young millennial Angelinos as they navigate life, love, friendship, and career in the fast-paced city they call home through the ever-changing social landscape of the 2020’s.
Starring Amanda Scott, P’Jae Compton, Briana Jones, Tylynn Burns, Cheryl Des Vignes, Jordan Bentley, Rebecca Magett, Rob Lee, Jaylenn Hart, and Jerrold Smith II, the show’s focus on middle-class African Americans making strides toward their dreams made it a fan favorite among viewers.
The first production under Rae’s $40 million deal with Warner Brothers. Her second, the scripted hio-hop dramedy series Rap Sh!t, was already renewed for a second season on HBO Max in September, despite the streamer’s divestment from original scripted series.