Nearly 80,000 people have signed a petition urging HBO the producers behind the gay drama Looking to reconsider their cancellation of the groundbreaking series.

Despite rave reviews, HBO made the announcement that it is to axe the series that follows the lives of three openly gay men living in San Francisco. A sluggish start to the show managed to grow its audience from 0.09 of the 18-49 demographic to 0.12 which represents around 240,000 viewers.

RuPaul’s Drag Race manages to pull in an audience of around 300,000 viewers in the US, but its producers have committed to seven series.

A statement from the cable channel says, “After two years of following Patrick and his tight-knit group of friends as they explored San Francisco in search of love and lasting relationships, HBO will present the final chapter of their journey as a special… We look forward to sharing this adventure with the shows loyal fans.”

Creator of the petition, Ian Grady, said, “Looking is a breakthrough show that provided one of the most honest and refreshing portrayals of modern gay culture. Looking features story-lines and characters that depict the real emotional complexity of people living with HIV, and tackles tough issues like transgender homelessness. It truly is like nothing else on TV.

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To some fans of the show, it is the truest representation of themselves on TV; for others, it is a rare opportunity to see characters that remind them of their friends, loved ones and fellow community members.

HBO has a history of taking risks for the sake of artistic expression and producers around the world look to HBO as a trendsetter.”