Westworld started airing in 2016 and came from the team of Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy, who had previously worked on Person of Interest. The show was a reboot of the 1973 film of the same name, written and directed by Michael Crichton. The first season attracted blanket critical acclaim and high ratings for HBO, but each following season saw both the acclaim and ratings reduce significantly. After the 8-episode fourth season failed to arrest the decline (scoring barely 300,000 viewers on the initial airing), and still costing over $100 million, HBO decided to cancel the show rather than press on with it.
As well as the acclaim and ratings, the show suffered from a protracted release schedule that saw two or more years pass between seasons, frustrating viewers.
The show won nine Emmy Awards during its time on-air and featured highly-rated performances by the likes of Evan Rachel Wood, Thandiwe Newton, Ed Harris, Anthony Hopkins, Aaron Paul and Tessa Thompson.
The show was produced under the banner of J.J. Abrams' Bad Robot Productions. The cancellation means that 2023 will be the first year since 2000 that Bad Robot has not had a TV show airing or in production. The company is developing six other shows, but these are not expected to hit the screen until 2024 at the earliest.