There has been no last-minute miracle — the upcoming fifth season of Showtime’s Hollywood comedy Episodes indeed will be its final one, the network confirmed. The first table read is tomorrow, and production begins next week in London, with Jeffrey Klarik directing all seven episodes for a 2017 premiere. The seven-episode final run matches the size of Episodes’ maiden season. Seasons 2-4 have consisted of 9 episodes each.
The series creators David Crane and Klarik, who write every single episode, have long said that they had envisioned the series to go for five seasons, and had been planning the fifth season as the final one from the onset. Meanwhile, Showtime brass had said publicly that it would be Crane and Klarik’s decision when to call it a day.
“We have had the best time making this show,” said Crane and Klarik. “Showtime has been the opposite of every network we write about. If it were up to them we could go on making Episodes forever. But we’ve told the story we set out to tell and we’d never want to outstay our welcome.”
In anticipation of the end, two Episodes regulars, Matt LeBlanc and Kathleen Rose Perkins, booked broadcast pilots this season. The series stars LeBlanc as a fictionalized version of himself, with Stephen Mangan, Tamsin Greig, Mircea Monroe, Perkins and John Pankow co-starring.
“Episodes’ scathing portrait of network executives has kept me on my best behavior these last several years, for which I am grudgingly grateful to Jeffrey and David,” said Gary Levine, President of Programming, Showtime Networks. “I love this show and can’t wait to see what comic heights Matt and company will scale during the fifth and final season of our inspired series.”
Since its debut in 2011, Episodes has received 10 Primetime Emmy nominations, Lead Actor in a Comedy Series noms for LeBlanc and Writing for a Comedy Series noms for Crane and Klarik, for every season the series has been eligible. LeBlanc won a Golden Globe for his role.
Crane and Klarik executive produce the series, along with Jimmy Mulville, who serves as executive producer through his Hat Trick production company.