When the news broke in December, Max (then HBO Max) was effectively canceled Minx, a collective shudder went through Hollywood creativity. It wasn’t for nothing MinxA charming, dick-filled comedy about the launch of — the playerThe show was a 70s-style magazine critical success. That was it Minx The network had already received a second season order and was, in fact, in the final week of shooting for that season. The showrunners, writers and actors wondered, “If it’s already given us so much money and confidence to get up and leave a show, who’s to say it can’t happen to us?”
What did Max do? Minx Called “write,” it’s becoming more common. Networks looking to cut costs can announce that an asset (in this case, a show) has depreciated faster than expected. They “write off” the value of the show on the books, depreciating it to begin with, and then ending up with a total loss on their balance sheet and a significant tax deduction. This works for existing shows as well as previously commissioned works, hence why several Paramount and Disney originals have disappeared from their streaming services in recent months. (In fact, Disney recently reported $1.5 billion in write-offs this spring, which experts attributed to all the disappearing content.)
Some Hollywood suits are quick to remind creatives that it’s called “show security,” not “show business,” and that networks have other reasons to write off content, from trying to avoid licensing or residual payments to the money made by moving content to a fast (free, ad-supported streaming TV) service like Pluto TV or Tubi.
Still, none of that really helped ease the pain Minx Show runner Ellen Rapoport had to tell her cast and crew about the show’s possible cancellation. She had heard about it a few days earlier from the show’s production company, Lionsgate, which prompted her to keep it to herself. The company tried to put a favorable spin on it, keeping the news from her as long as possible, saying HBO would pay to finish the second season and couldn’t stop them from taking it elsewhere. Still, says Rapoport, “a shit sandwich inside a croissant says, ‘We love the show, you’re canceled, but you’re going to find a new home.'”
She kept the news to herself as she prepared to direct the finale, thinking the entire time that week was the last she would ever spend. Minx Set. She had a chance to tell the cast on a Friday, when Lionsgate began to realize that news would break on the trades next week. “My biggest nightmare was that we’d be on set and an article would come out,” Rapoport says. She found time that weekend to call six of the show’s series regulars, Ophelia Lovibond, Jake Johnson, Lennon Parham, Oscar Montoya, Jessica Lowe and Idara Victor, as well as recurring guests Rich Sommer and Elizabeth Perkins. “Everybody was surprised because it wasn’t even on the ether,” Rapoport says. “We never talked about it.”
In fact, Rapoport says, neither she nor anyone else associated with the show’s production got viewership numbers from Max. Such statistics are notoriously close to the vest at streaming companies, frustrating for actors and creators who are left in the dark about the status of their shows (and, as any currently notable actor will tell you, the status of their paltry residuals). “They told us we had about a 90 percent completion rate, which was amazing, and they told us our audience was split evenly between men and women,” Rapoport says. “That’s all they really said except that our viewership was on par with shows like it Julia And Hacks.”
“It looks like we’re getting a divorce, but still have access to credit cards.”
Minx Showrunner Ellen Rapoport
The week after Rapoport told her cast, she got a call from Lionsgate saying the story was about to break and to tell others working on the show. “I tried to keep my spirits up,” she says. “It’s amazing to think that something you’ve been working on for months and months and months can disappear and no one will ever see it, but I was trying to say HBO Max distributed us in North America and Latin America, but Lionsgate owns us and distributes worldwide.” She was confident Minx Will find another supplier.
Rapoport says when it broke the news Minx Outside of Max, Lionsgate was in serious talks with about four different buyers. Although she knew there was a very strong possibility that it would land somewhere else, she wasn’t allowed to tell anyone working on the show that clearly. “I tried to reassure them that I felt it was going to be OK,” she explains.
Rapoport also encouraged the crew to go all out in the season 2 finale, which HBO still paid to produce. “Do we need a crane shot?” I was,” she says. “Usually in our budget we only get one day with one crane, but in the end we got three and our wrap party was shockingly beautiful. It felt like we were getting divorced but still had access to credit cards.
Ultimately, the show found Rapoport, the buyer it had been hoping for. The news came just before the New Year Minx Landing on Stars, the news broke to the world in January. Rapoport says he’s glad the show landed at the network, not only because of its commitment to programming that appeals to underrepresented groups, but also because of its meaning. Minx Found a home among similarly provocative content.
That doesn’t mean she gets more insight Minx‘s viewership at any time. Of course, Starz is a premium cable company that reports to Nielsen, but those figures don’t include streaming statistics—a delivery method. MinxTotal viewership of She says that while it would be nice to have whatever numbers she gets, they will be incomplete.
As a former corporate lawyer turned showrunner, Rapoport says he understands why Max made the decision to write the show from a business perspective. “I understand,” she says. “But I also feel that in order to encourage people to do their best work in a creative field, you need to create an environment conducive to that. It’s not about the calculations an algorithm runs.
That means everyone working now has a showbiz concern Minx, because, like Rapoport, they know what it’s like to have the Hollywood rug pulled out from under them. “It’s really disorienting to feel like all your hard work can be erased at any moment,” says Rapoport. “I also find it very disrespectful. It’s hard to do your best work when you know it’s all going to end up in the trash based on one number on the balance sheet.