HBO cancels Gentleman Jack after two seasons

Gentleman Jack has been canceled by HBO after just two seasons.

Created by Happy Valley’s Sally Wainwright, the Suranne Jones-led period drama centers on real-life Yorkshire-based landowner Anne Lister, retroactively dubbed “the first modern lesbian”, as she strikes up a romance with the wealthy Ann Walker, and navigates male-dominated business ventures in the early 1800s. 

“HBO will not be moving forward with a third season of Gentleman Jack,” the network said in a statement (via Deadline). “When we began this journey more than five years ago, we knew the series’ creator Sally Wainwright had a uniquely compelling vision, and it’s been tremendously gratifying to see how Anne Lister’s journey has resonated with viewers. 

“We are incredibly grateful to Sally, to the impeccable Suranne Jones and Sophie Rundle, and to the entire cast and crew for bringing Anne and Ann’s story to life. We’d also like to thank our partners at BBC and Lookout Point for their collaboration on two remarkable seasons.”

After season 1, which aired in 2019, ended with Anne and Ann essentially getting hitched, season 2 focuses on the latter’s move into Shibden Hall, and the new wives’ efforts to divide their estates – much to the dismay of Ann’s meddling brother-in-law Captain Sutherland. Their relationship is tested elsewhere, too, by money troubles, public scrutiny, and Anne’s entanglement with her ex-lover Mariana Lawton (Lydia Leonard).

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Sharing her reaction to the news, Jones took to Instagram to share the recently released bloopers from the latest installment. Alongside the post, she reflected on her “beautiful journey” making the show, writing: “While it is sad news Gentleman Jack will not be renewed, this show has brought so many together ❤️ Enabled people to share their stories, brought joy, emotion and creativity and gave me a real connection to you as it’s audience 😍 

“I have never been involved in a show that has made such a huge impact and touched my heart like this one has. It wasn’t always the easiest job I’ve had… but it was always worth it to see the response it got. THANK YOU for all your support. 

“Thank you to Sally Wainwright for bringing us this amazing story and passion. Thank you to @lindaviemakeup and @tompye33 for the stunning work over both seasons, and to our design team who blew me away on set everyday. To our cast and crew who are just so talented and beautiful and finally I love you @sophiesophierundle 🎩 you are a true friend and a total star ⭐️.”

“What a privilege it has been to play Ann Walker and bring her and Anne Lister’s extraordinary love story back to life,” Rundle said in her own social media upload (opens in new tab). “I am so proud to have been a part of reclaiming their place in history. And I will be forever grateful to have been allowed to spend time in the eye wateringly talented orbits of Sally and Suranne, and the incredible team of people who brought this story to your screens. Thank you for being such a kind, funny, creative and supportive fan base. I am overwhelmed by the love this show inspired. And PROUD. So fiercely proud.”

Gentleman Jack fans had been worried about the fate of the series for some time, due to HBO and BBC One’s silence on whether or not it had been renewed – and the fact that season 2 was confirmed before season 1 had even concluded in the US. All hope is not lost, though, as the BBC cryptically told Metro (opens in new tab): “We are tremendously proud of Gentleman Jack, a show which has made a huge cultural impact, and we are in discussions with Sally about what’s next.”

Gentleman Jack is available to stream on BBC iPlayer in the UK, and HBO Max in the US. If you’ve already binge-watched, then be sure to check out our roundup of the best TV shows of all time for some viewing inspiration.

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