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‘Perry Mason’ and ‘I Love That for You’ canceled

From left: Jenifer Lewis, Vanessa Bayer, and Molly Shannon starred in "I Love That for You."Nicole Wilder/Showtime

Two series just got the ax. HBO’s “Perry Mason” is over after two seasons. Based on the characters created by Erle Stanley Gardner and set in 1930s Los Angeles, the drama was a beautiful-looking period piece. And the acting was fine, with Matthew Rhys starring as the titular attorney and Juliet Rylance as Della Street. But the storylines were stretched out across the seasons, unlike the original “Perry Mason” series with its self-contained episodes, and that didn’t work well. In the first season, there was too much story crammed in, and in the second season, not enough story getting stretched out.

I enjoyed the goofy comedy “I Love That for You” a little bit more, but it’s a goner, too. Showtime has canceled it after only one season. Co-created by former “Saturday Night Live” player Vanessa Bayer, it was equal parts pathos and comedy as Bayer’s lost soul gets a job as an onscreen salesperson for a QVC-like network. She says on air that her childhood leukemia has returned when — whoops — it hasn’t. The cast was excellent, with Molly Shannon a standout (as usual) as another home-shopping queen.


The cancelation looks like part of Showtime’s shift, as it will rebrand as “Paramount+ With Showtime” later this month. The new programming strategy will emphasize franchise building, with spinoffs of “Billions” and “Dexter” in the works. Showtime did pick up Neil Patrick Harris’s “Uncoupled” in February after Netflix didn’t renew it, however; maybe another outlet can rescue “I Love That for You.”

Matthew Gilbert can be reached at Follow him @MatthewGilbert.