Happyish had been a passion project for Showtime topper David Nevins who originally took in the comedy developed at Ken Kwapis’ company more than 3 years ago. It was ordered to pilot in summer 2013 with Philip Seymour Hoffman and Kathryn Hahn as the leads. In January 2014, the pilot was picked up to series, but the show was soon dealt a big blow when Hoffman suddenly died.
Nevins continued to be high on the premise by Happyish creator, This American Life contributor Shalom Auslander, and the project was eventually re-piloted with Steve Coogan and Hahn starring and again picked up to series.
But the series, described as a comedic, soul-searching examination of our pursuit of happiness, received lukewarm reception by critics and did not connect with viewers, drawing lackluster ratings, leading to Showtime brass’ decision to redirect its resources elsewhere. It comes a month after Happyish ended its 10-episode freshman run.
This is a rare case of a Showtime original series of the last decade not to go to a second season and the first since Nevins took over the network.