The DeuceEpisode 6, debut 10/15/17: James Paul Schiraldi/HBO
Credit: Paul Schiraldi/HBO

HBO is renewing, then ending, The Deuce.

The network has agreed to give the critically acclaimed yet modestly rated drama a third and final season to wrap things up.

Writer-producer David Simon’s drama about the 1970s porn scene stars James Franco and Maggie Gyllenhaal. The Deuce launched its second season on Sept. 9 and delivered only about 600,000 overnight viewers for its first two episodes back. Yet on Metacritic, the second season has averaged an 86 out of 100 when surveying critics, a level that is considered “universal acclaim.”

Simon, who has previously said he thought of the series as a three-season show, issued this photo and statement on Twitter about the decision:

Simon also made headlines in June by getting his Twitter account temporarily revoked after slamming Trump’s immigration policy with a comment to a troll that sounded to some like a death threat (“You should die of a slow moving veneral rash that settles in your lying throat”).

The Deuce follows “the story of the legalization and subsequent rise of the porn industry in New York’s Times Square from the early 1970s through the mid-1980s, exploring the rough-and-tumble world that existed there until the rise of HIV, the violence of the cocaine epidemic and the renewed real estate market all ended the bawdy turbulence.”

The third and final season of The Deuce will air sometime in 2019.

The move comes as HBO prepares for a strong lineup next year with the return of Game of Thrones for its final season, the return of True Detective for season 3, the return of Veep for season 7, and the launch of Damon Lindelof’s new superhero drama Watchmen.

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The Deuce
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