HBO announced on Friday that its heavily promoted weekly talk show, “Any Given Wednesday” with Bill Simmons, will not return after a final episode on Wednesday of next week.
The network said the decision “was mutually agreed upon” by HBO and host Simmons, who joined HBO in 2015 after a long, successful run at ESPN.
The show had gotten mostly negative reviews and poor ratings, and perhaps most importantly failed to generate social media buzz beyond an expletive-laced appearance by actor Ben Affleck on the premiere episode in June.
“One of the many reasons I joined HBO was to see if we could create a show built around smart conversations for sports fans and pop culture junkies,” Simmons said in a news release. “We loved making that show, but unfortunately it never resonated with audiences like we hoped. And that’s on me.”
Simmons said he plans to develop other programming ideas for the network moving forward.
“I want to thank the dedicated staff that worked so diligently with me behind the scenes to make this show every week,” he said. “We hired so many great and talented people and I loved having them in my life. It’s difficult for me to imagine not working with them anymore.”
Peter Nelson, executive vice president of HBO Sports, said in the news release, “HBO is committed to Bill Simmons, and we are excited to bring his unique vision to bear on an array of new programming initiatives under the HBO Sports banner in 2017. Bill is an award-winning executive producer in the documentary arena, and we will work closely with him in developing new and engaging content for our subscribers.”