HBO boss: As a gay man, cancelling Looking was ‘very painful’

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

The President of HBO has apologised for axing gay drama series Looking – but confirmed work on a one-off film to wrap up the series.

Dubbed the gay ‘Girls’, ‘Looking’ debuted last year to mixed reception and ratings, though it won a place in the hearts of its gay fans.

However, the show, which stars Jonathan Groff, Frankie J Alvarez and Russell Tovey – lasted just 18 episodes across two seasons before facing the axe in March this year.

Subscription service HBO – which is also home to big-budget series including Game of Thrones – confirmed today that a film wrapping up the drama is set to air in 2016.

According to Digital Spy, HBO president Michael Lombardo told the Television Critics Association that it was personally “very painful” for him to cancel the show.

He said: “I thought the show, creatively, was really doing something that I hadn’t seen on any other show, particularly dealing with gay lives.”

“As a gay man, in particular, I was very proud that there was a show that felt like it was dealing very honestly and openly with gay men and their lives, without putting them into a comedic mode.”

He confirmed the wrap-up film will air next year, with production beginning in the Autumn. ‘Looking’ was commended for dealing with a number of topical issues such as PrEP, substance abuse and hook-up apps.

HBO said previously: “After two years of following Patrick and his tight-knit group of friends as they explored San Francisco in search of love and lasting relationships, HBO will present the final chapter of their journey as a special. We look forward to sharing this adventure with the shows loyal fans.”