Showtime has canceled “The United States of Tara,” effective at the conclusion of its current third season. At the same time, it’s renewed “Nurse Jackie” for a fourth season.

Hard to see this one coming with the standard pay-cablers like HBO and Showtime handle their business decisions, but still, I would have guessed “Tara” was safe for the long run. Showtime especially has a history of keeping shows going if only to appease the customers. “Tara” was also the center of consistent critical acclaim, adding to the reasons to keep it.

“Jackie” had somewhat usurped it however as the network’s new comedic face. Edie Falco has won rave reviews and even the most recent Emmy (against “Tara’s” Toni Collette) for Best Actress.

Ratings stories differ, as Showtime culls together its numbers from multiple airings and on-demand. However, statistics show the show was averaging a little more than 300,000 viewers in its original airing, while “Jackie” has been drawing closer to 800K. Showtime said “Nurse Jackie” averages more than 2.8 million viewers each week after all its viewings.

“United States of Tara” will conclude its final season on June 20.

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Jason Woods is a Blast staff writer

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