‘Gordita Chronicles’ Canceled as HBO Max Shifts Family Programming Strategy

HBO Max has canceled its comedy Gordita Chronicles, a move the streamer says is motivated by a change in strategy at its parent company.

The show, which centers on a 12-year-old Dominican girl (Oliva Goncalves) in 1980s Miami, debuted its full first — and now only — season on June 23. An HBO Max spokesperson said in a statement that the show fell victim to a change in priorities for the streamer.

“Live-action kids and family programming will not be part of our programming focus in the immediate future, and as a result, we’ve had to make the very difficult decision to end Gordita Chronicles at HBO Max,” the statement reads. “The series earned critical acclaim and a loyal following, and we are proud to have worked with creator Claudia Forestieri and our two powerhouse executive producers, Eva Longoria (who also masterfully directed the pilot) and Zoe Saldaña, to bring Cucu’s journey to the screen. We thank them and the talented cast and crew for creating such a heartfelt, groundbreaking show that connected deeply with a very important demographic.”

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Sony Pictures Television produced the series, which creator Forestieri based on her own life. The cast also includes Diana Maria Riva, Juan Javier Cardenas, Savannah Nicole Ruiz, Noah Rico, Cosette Hauer and Dascha Polanco. Brigitte Muñoz-Liebowitz served as showrunner.

“We are heartbroken by the larger programming changes at HBO Max that will not allow our special show that is Gordita Chronicles, showrun by Latinx comedy powerhouse Brigitte Muñoz-Liebowitz, to have a second season at its original home,” executive producers Longoria and Saldaña said in a statement. “As producers and storytellers who are continually seeking out the authentic and original stories that highlight our community’s joy and talent, we are so proud to have worked on this piece of magic. We continue to be blown away by the overwhelmingly positive critical response coupled with our growing audience numbers, which prove that viewers recognize the importance of this show’s existence and the crucial space it is filling for Latinx content in the media landscape.”

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Since HBO Max’s parent, WarnerMedia, and Discovery completed their merger in the spring, Warner Bros. Discovery has made a number of changes in strategy, most notably at its cable channels TBS, TNT and TruTV — where an ongoing move away from original scripted programming has accelerated. The company is all-in on a streaming first strategy, but family programming hasn’t had a huge presence in the two-plus years of HBO Max’s existence. WBD will continue with development of animated projects aimed at younger viewers via its Cartoon Network and Warner Bros. Animation arms.

HBO Max has also gone one and done with a Head of the Class reboot, and a decision on The Garcias, a follow-up to the 2000-04 Nickelodeon series The Brothers Garcia, has yet to be made. HBO Max has renewed its Gossip Girl redo and just debuted Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin, both of which are aimed at young adults.

Forestieri, Muñoz-Liebowitz (via her Bons Mots Emporium), Longoria (via her UnbeliEVAble shingle) and Saldaña (via Cinestar Pictures) executive produce Gordita Chronicles along with Josh Berman, Jennifer Robinson and Chris King of Osprey Productions and Cinestar’s Mariel Saldaña and Cisely Saldaña.

Deadline first reported the cancellation.

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