It’s been two months since Westworld was canceled by HBO, but fans of the critically acclaimed sci-fi series are still hoping that the network will reverse its decision and renew the dystopian drama for a fifth season. In fact, a group of hopeful fans has recently launched a website called Save Westworld with an aim to encourage more people to support the ongoing Westworld season 5 campaign.
What is SaveWestworld.com?
SaveWestworld.com is a new website designed by fans to keep the Westworld season 5 campaign going with the ultimate goal of scoring a renewal. The website includes a link to a Change.org petition calling for HBO to renew Westworld for a fifth and final season, as well as links to unsolved mysteries in the series and the latest news related to the show.
The people behind the website are encouraging social media action from their fellow fans, which will be prompted by the use of “theme parties” on Twitter that are meant to celebrate the show.
“We invite every person who loves Westworld to join the movement by sharing the website, signing the petition, and by making some noise on social media using the hashtag #savewestworld,” the website creators said in a statement, according to Screen Rant. “[The parties] will be an opportunity for the fans to gather together after this disappointing decision of HBO to cancel the show. The interaction will be at the center of these virtual events.”
While the Change.org petition is calling for HBO to reverse its decision to cancel Westworld, a page from SaveWestworld.com is also encouraging fans to join in on reaching out to another network or platform, such as Amazon Prime Video, to step in and save Westworld.
Westworld creators Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy now serve as executive producers in the sci-fi series The Peripheral. And since The Peripheral streams on Amazon Prime Video, SaveWestworld.com creators think that there’s a possibility for Amazon to order a Westworld season 5 given the streamer’s working relationship with Nolan and Joy.
Will there be Westworld season 5?
As of January 2023, there will be no Westworld season 5. As mentioned above, HBO canceled the series in November 2022 after four seasons. But because fans are still hard at work campaigning for a Westworld season 5, there’s a possibility that HBO will reverse its decision and ultimately renew the series for a fifth season. Other networks and platforms may also step in and save the show for one final hurrah.
How many seasons of Westworld will there be?
Creators Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy had always envisioned Westworld as a five-season series. In fact, the pair revealed in an interview with TheWrap in August 2022 that the endgame for the show was plotted out way back when they were writing the show’s pilot.
“We had always planned on ending the series next season,” Joy told TheWrap at the time. “You know, we always thought that ‘Westworld’ should kind of come full circle and back to the West. But with Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood), who was just a player in other people’s games, finally getting to write her own. Just to close up a lot of the stuff that we’ve seen before like the flashforward with The Man in Black (Ed Harris) and everything, so we have a plan for season 5 – but, you know, life can make other plans for you. So we’ll just hope for the best.”
Apparently, that “other plan” for Nolan and Joy came when HBO ultimately pulled the plug on the series in November 2022 — two months after the show’s season 4 finale.
Why was Westworld canceled?
HBO didn’t provide an explanation for its decision to cancel Westworld, but The Hollywood Reporter noted that the linear ratings of the high-budget series dropped sharply for its season 3 and fell off even further for its season 4.
According to viewing figures collated by TVSeriesFinale.com, Westworld season 4 averaged a 0.06 rating in the 18-49 demographic and 349,000 viewers in the live+same day ratings (including DVR playback through 3:00 AM). Compared to season 3, that’s down by 73% in the demo and down by 57% in viewership.
It’s also worth mentioning that the show’s critic average on Rotten Tomatoes dropped from 80-plus percent for its first two seasons to 70-plus percent for its latter two. Longtime fans also commented that the series became so complicated in its latter seasons, and lacked likable characters to root for towards the end of its run.
The cancellation might also have something to do with Warner Bros. Discovery’s aggressive cost-cutting strategy under the leadership of the company’s new CEO David Zaslav. Network insiders, however, told The Hollywood Reporter that saving money was not a factor in the series’ ultimate fate.
James Marsden on Westworld’s cancellation
In an interview with Rolling Stone published in January 2023, Westworld star James Marsden expressed his upset over HBO’s decision to cancel the show after four seasons.
“I’d be lying to you if I told you that the way we ended Westworld wasn’t a disappointment,” said the actor, who portrayed Theodore “Teddy” Flood in seasons 1 and 2 of the series, and again in season 4. “I’m never going to speak without gratitude about any of my experiences, but it would have been nice to be able to complete the story we wanted to finish. I love this Westworld family. It was one of those unique opportunities to be part of something where I also would be sitting at home ravenously waiting for the next episode as a fan.”
Despite his discontent with HBO’s move to not order a season 5, Marsden made it clear that he understands why the network went in that direction. After all, HBO is a business, and it is bound to produce projects that are deemed profitable.
“I totally understand it’s an expensive show and big shows have to have big audiences to merit the expense, I just wish it was about more than financial success,” the actor said. “But who knows, maybe there’s some world where it can get completed somehow. Maybe that’s just wishful thinking, because I know we had plans to finish it the way we wanted to.”
What is Westworld about?
Based on Michael Crichton’s 1973 film of the same name, the show starts in Westworld, a fictional, technologically advanced Wild-West-themed amusement park populated by android hosts. The park caters to high-paying guests who may indulge their wildest fantasies within the park without fear of retaliation from the hosts, who are prevented by their programming from harming humans. Later in the series, the series expands to the real world, in the mid-21st century, where people’s lives are driven and controlled by powerful artificial intelligence.
The Emmy-nominated series featured an acting ensemble that includes Evan Rachel Wood, Thandiwe Newton, Jeffrey Wright, James Marsden, Ingrid Bolsø Berdal, Luke Hemsworth, Sidse Babett Knudsen, Simon Quarterman, Rodrigo Santoro, and Angela Sarafyan, just to name a few.