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Englewood, Chatham, Auburn Gresham

‘South Side,’ The Comedy That Gave Chicago Its Spotlight, Canceled On HBO Max

Network leaders announced Tuesday they would not pick up the popular show for a fourth season, devastating fans who praised the show for its expertise in telling uniquely Chicago stories.

"South Side," the enormously popular HBO Max comedy, was canceled Tuesday after three seasons.
Courtesy of HBO Max
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CHICAGO — “South Side,” the beloved show that melded humor and punctual commentary to showcase Chicago life, has been canceled after three seasons. 

HBO Max announced the cancelation Tuesday, Deadline reported. The streaming service picked up the show for its second season in November 2021 after a debut on Comedy Central. 

The 30-minute comedy followed duo Simon and “K” as they navigated Chicago’s neighborhoods as employees at the fictional Rent-To-Own. Characters like Officer Goodnight and Alderman Gayle — portrayed by creators Bashir Salahuddin and Diallo Riddle — became viewer favorites, along with forever stylish Officer Turner played by Chandra Russell.

The third season of “South Side” premiered Dec. 8. All eight episodes are available to stream online. HBO Max has not said if they will pull the show from its streaming services, similar to other content removed after the announcement of the Discovery+ merger.  

“While HBO Max will not be moving forward with a fourth season of South Side, we are so proud of the rich world Bashir Salahuddin, Diallo Riddle and Sultan Salahuddin created,” an HBO Max spokesperson told Deadline. “We thank them and Michael Blieden, Tony Hernandez, the supremely talented cast and crew, and our partners at MTV Entertainment Studios. 

“For three seasons, this beloved series balanced cutting, hyperlocal social commentary about life on the South Side of Chicago with silly, sometimes zany humor. The result was a wholly unique, ambitious, and fearless comedy that could speak to everyone living the American dream.”

In a tweet Wednesday, Riddle said the team is hoping to find the show a new home to do more episodes.

Credit: Courtesy of HBO Max
Officer Turner chooses a snow cone flavor in the season premiere of “South Side.”

Season 3 of “South Side” took viewers on a joyride to Lower Wacker Drive, a celebration at the South Shore Cultural Center and a festival at Grant Park. 

The show let Chicago’s neighborhoods speak for itself, creating a world relatable to everyone, but especially Chicagoans who rarely see communities like Englewood or Chatham in the spotlight. 

No other show on television could land jokes about Whitney Young High School, Harold’s Chicken and the snow cone man within a few episodes. The “South Side” creators, writers and stars are all from Chicago, producing a show that nailed the details only locals could appreciate while also resonating with fans who love comedy, its co-creators previously told Block Club.

“Really good television evokes two contradictory but simultaneous reactions from an audience,” director Michael Blieden said. “One is ‘Oh my God, I’ve never seen this before,’ and the other is ‘Oh my God, this is my life.’”

Black Chicago got its due on the HBO Max show. It never made South Side neighborhoods or its neighbors the butt of a joke, but it did hilariously comment on South Siders lives, adages, and the unique magic that makes this city unlike any other place. 

Viewers gathered on Twitter Tuesday to mourn the streaming platform’s decision:

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