By Melanie Mayberry, programming editor

HBO has cancelled its second show within the past week. But this one will sting with sports fans. Deadline reports that the premium channel has thrown down the ax on Real Sports With Bryant Gumbel after 29 seasons. Yes, there will not be an even season 30. Gumbel has hosted the investigative sports series since 1995 which originally was modeled after 60 Minutes but has become its own iconic television fixture over the years.

“Since day one at Real Sports we’ve consistently tried to look beyond the scoreboard and focus instead on the many societal issues inherent in the world of sports. In the process we’ve had the opportunity to tell complex stories about race, gender, class, opportunity and so much more. Being able to do so at HBO for almost 3 decades has been very gratifying. I’m proud of the imprint we’ve made, so I’m ready to turn the page. Although goodbyes are never easy, I’ve decided that now’s the time to move on,” Gumbel said in a statement.

No word on why Real Sports, which has won 37 Emmys, will not continue after the current season, but HBO chief Casey Bloys lavished the praise on the show in a statement: “For 29 seasons, Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel has delivered a masterclass in sports storytelling. … As the longest-running HBO series, Bryant and his Real Sports team have long been a cornerstone of HBO programming. The series will continue to resonate in the realm of sports journalism, and we are so proud to have been part of such a remarkable odyssey.”

HBO last week announced that The Idol, which starred Lily-Rose Depp as a troubled pop star, would not return for season two.

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