Perhaps the Producer, Michael Patrick King from Sex and The City and Lisa Kudrow, star from Friends were really expensive to get for HBO, since those shows were so big. However, those shows were made for the masses. Perhaps HBO was expecting another block buster ratings giant. It sounded like it, when they chose not to renew this show, saying the numbers weren't there and they didn't have any resources to put into promoting it further.
However, The Comeback was more of a niche show; subtle, intelligent, willing to embrace pain, humiliation in a point blank fashion. Willing to embrace phases we tend to avoid: those difficult moments in life when somebody says something in which you are not quite sure how to respond, socially awkward situations. A series this intelligent and insightful can only appeal to a few. The great masses prefer simple minded fair to distract them or prefer to see lots of things exploding with lots of pyrotechnics kind of like Homer and Bart Simpson, who are caricatures of "Everyman" on the Street".
But as Valerie (Lisa's character says in one episode); Reality TV is becoming "Coliseum mentality" and that she doesn't do coliseums. Valerie feared her show would not fare well in such a world. This thought proved to be prophetic.
Lisa Kudrow graduated from Vassar College with a degree in Biology. She's an extremely intelligent woman although you might not think so with all the ditzy characters she has played like Phoebe and the Romy and Michelle HS Reunion character.
In The Comeback however, as the main character and as Executive Producer, her intelligence is allowed free rein, as she is allowed to fully develop this Valerie character into a lightning rod for all manner of ridiculous situations...she still plays the part of silly and vain woman but does it so well in concert with the whole cast... We get to see humanity and all it's ridiculous foibles: vanity. prententiousness, selfishness, rudeness, vapidness, indifference, ego mania, self involved-ness...
Each episode allows us to see in subtle details and not so subtle details the dynamics of human/social interactions.
It was definitely not a show for the masses...I don't know if the 2nd season could have been as good as the first but at least we got 13 fantastic episodes of which I have watched at least 15 times each. I think Lisa and Michael should have tried to bring it to Showtime after HBO dropped it but Hey life is always changing...I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.