‘Tokyo Vice’ Cancelled by Max After Two Seasons

© Max (HBO Max)

The much-lauded crime drama Tokyo Vice has met an unexpected end, as Max confirmed its cancellation after just two seasons. This announcement came during the Producers Guild of America’s ‘Produced By’ conference, where HBO Max’s original programming chief Sarah Aubrey and creators J.T. Rogers and Alan Poul discussed the series’ impactful run and its portrayal of Tokyo’s underground crime scene.

Tokyo Vice gained rapid acclaim for its gripping storytelling and immersive depiction of Japan’s yakuza underworld. Starring Ansel Elgort and Ken Watanabe, the show made history as the first major U.S. TV production entirely filmed in Japan. Inspired by journalist Jake Adelstein’s memoir, the series followed Elgort’s character, a fictionalized version of Adelstein, navigating Tokyo’s criminal labyrinth as a dedicated newspaper reporter.

Despite the show’s popularity, Aubrey clarified that Tokyo Vice was always intended to have a two-season arc, ensuring a clear and cohesive endpoint. Rogers echoed this sentiment, emphasising how predetermined storytelling added depth and resonance to the show. In a joint expression of gratitude, Rogers and Poul commended Max for their support throughout the series’ production journey. “Max supported us through thick and thin. Not only did they give us these two seasons, [but] they said yes when we asked to end season one with a series of cliffhangers, and they said yes when we asked for two extra episodes so we could land the plane in the way J.T. had always envisioned.”

Following the cancellation announcement, there was an outpouring of support from fans and critics, many of whom expressed hope for a new season. Fortunately, both Rogers and Poul hinted at potential avenues for Tokyo Vice to continue its legacy as they are not done with the show yet. According to statements reported by Variety, Poul highlighted the series’ robust international appeal, managed by their production partner Fifth Season, who successfully marketed the show globally, and is trying to find it a new home after Max pulled the plug.

Looking ahead, Rogers expressed enthusiasm for exploring further storylines within the Tokyo Vice universe. “We’d love to go forward. I have very clear ideas about the continued expansion of the world,” he affirmed, indicating a potential for future developments beyond its initial run. As uncertainty looms over the show’s future, the dedication of its creators and fans sustains hope for a potential revival, promising continued intrigue and drama for its dedicated audience.

Words by Khushboo Malhotra

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