Lovecraft Country premiered to great reviews, it outperformed HBO shows that were renewed like Succession and The Nevers and it just earned a whopping 18 Emmy nominations, more than any other HBO or HBO Max show this year. So its cancelation two weeks ago remains baffling. "The show was not only ground-breaking, but critically-acclaimed, and poised to gain a larger audience in a second season," says Meghan O'Keefe. "So why did HBO cancel Lovecraft Country? That’s the question that might dog HBO and its parent company for years to come. Lovecraft Country had all the ingredients of a great HBO tentpole series. It was created by an up-and-coming producer brimming with talent and potential, featured a cast of rising stars, and subverted genre expectations at every turn. It had lavish action set pieces, gorgeous costumes and set design, and wild twists and turns. The artists who made Lovecraft Country will continue to be on the vanguard of the industry and the show itself is likely to inspire generations of showrunners to come. So, what went wrong with Lovecraft Country? Lovecraft Country was meant to be HBO’s next major genre show after the conclusion of Game of Thrones in 2019. The series was based on a bestselling book, carried with it prestigious producers like J.J. Abrams and Jordan Peele, and combined mythology and horror with the dark history of racism in America. HBO gave the show a massive budget and showrunner Misha Green seemingly free range to take huge creative swings. Some of those swings, as in episodes like 'I Am' and 'Jig-a-Bobo,' paid off. Others, like the show’s overstuffed finale, did not. Creatively-speaking, Green wrapped up Lovecraft Country with both a cliffhanger and a dead end. While she’s made it clear through tweets that she had ample material to kick start a whole new saga for Lovecraft Country, HBO might have been wary of the fact that she, uh, killed off her main character, Atticus Freeman (Jonathan Majors). And that she was seemingly embarking on a whole new story featuring a whole new cast of characters." O'Keefe also points out that Lovecraft Country was championed by former HBO head Richard Plepler, "who famously believed in Game of Thrones so much he let creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss re-write and reshoot the expensive disaster of a pilot." But clearly, O'Keefe says, Green's Season 2 bible didn't resonate with HBO and HBO Max chief content officer Casey Bloys. Now Pleper is at Apple TV+, which just signed Green to an overall deal. "So maybe it’s not wild to suggest that had Plepler stayed at HBO, Lovecraft Country Season 2 would have happened," says O'Keefe. "Perhaps he would have seen more potential in the show to grow over additional seasons of storytelling."