A drama series that has been airing on pay cable has been given the ax. Deadline.com reports that Showtime has canceled “Masters of Sex” after four seasons.
The season four finale — now the series finale — aired in mid-November.
The series was a hit with critics when it debuted in fall 2013, and it consistently chalked up Primetime Emmy nominations, especially in the acting categories. Allison Janney won an Emmy in 2014 for a guest spot on the show.
The show was also named Most Exciting New Series at the 2013 Critics’ Choice Television Awards. The program starred Michael Sheen and Lizzy Caplan as sex researchers William Masters and Virginia Johnson.
Showtime issued a statement confirming the cancellation, saying: “’Masters of Sex’ was a beautifully written and acted exploration of America’s changing sexual mores. We are incredibly proud to have shared the story of Masters and Johnson for four critically acclaimed seasons. The series will remain available across our platforms where new viewers can discover it for years to come.”
While the show brought prestige to Showtime, it didn’t bring as many viewers as the network may have hoped.
“Season 4 averaged less than 800,000 in Live+3 while its lead-ins, first ‘Ray Donovan’ and then ‘Shameless,’ both drew more than 2 million (L+3) each week,” Deadline notes. “Across multiple platforms, ‘Masters of Sex’ Season Four is averaging 2.16 million viewers.”