‘Uncoupled’ Saved by Showtime Following Netflix Cancellation

The Neil Patrick Harris-starring dramedy was axed last month

Neil Patrick Harris with Gilles Marini (left) in "Uncoupled" (Netflix)

“Uncoupled,” the romantic dramedy starring Neil Patrick Harris, has been revived by Showtime after being axed by Netflix last month in yet another move indicative of the premium network’s new strategy for original series.

News of the move comes after it was announced earlier on Friday that “Ripley,” the highly anticipated drama starring Andrew Scott, was in the final stages of moving to Netflix. Also recently, the completed first season of “Three Women,” with Shailene Woodley, was being eyed for a pickup at Starz after Showtime pulled the plug.

The changes at Showtime are indicative of Paramount’s house cleaning while preparing for the cable network’s eventual integration into Paramount+ With Showtime later this year.

As part of that rebrand, Showtime studio boss Chris McCarthy outlined that the streamer would prioritize content that exemplified complex characters (like those in “Yellowjackets” and “Dexter”), powerful worlds (i.e. franchise-building with the likes of the recently announced spinoffs set for “Billions” and “Dexter”) and metro cultures (diverse programming akin to “The Chi” and “The L Word). The acquisition of “Uncoupled,” about a 40-year-old gay man (Harris), who is unceremoniously dumped by his partner of 17 years (Tuc Watkins’ Colin), fits into the lattermost category.

“Uncoupled” was one of the first casualties of the 2023 TV season. From Emmy-winning “Emily in Paris” developer Darren Star and “Modern Family” producer Jeffrey Richman, the eight-episode first season debuted July 29 on Netflix. The show, which received largely positive reviews but only spent one week on Netflix’s Top 10 English language chart, saw Harris as real estate agent Michael, who cautiously ventures back into the New York City dating scene. Tisha Campbell, Brooks Ashmanskas, Emerson Brooks and Marcia Gay Harden co-starred. “Uncoupled” is an MTV Entertainment Studios, Darren Star Productions, Jeffrey Richman Productions and Jax Media production.

As reported by Deadline, which first broke the news, speculation of the show’s cancellation began in late 2022 when there was an effort by producer MTV Entertainment Studios to find a new home for the series at its sibling company, Showtime.

Since then, as Showtime has shed series like “American Gigolo” and “Let the Right On In,” the aim is to build up the audiences tuning into programming like “The L Word” and “The Chi.” On Showtime, “Uncoupled” is expected take on an “edgier and racier” tone than Season 1. When Season 2 premieres on the platform, it will join upcoming LGBTQ+ titles like the period limited series “Fellow Travelers,” with Matt Bomer and Jonathan Bailey starring as lovers whose saga spans from a McCarthy-era Washington through the AIDS epidemic of the 1980s.