Penny Dreadful Canceled, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Orphan Black Renewed
Showtime‘s Penny Dreadful has been canceled after three seasons. HBO‘s Curb Your Enthusiasm and BBC‘s Orphan Black have each been renewed for a new season. The cancellation of Penny Dreadful was a complete surprise, especially considering the strength of the writing in Season 3. Strategically the cancellation was probably a good move. TV shows that stick around for too long, like Fringe, Dexter, like the first incarnation of The X-Files begin to stagnant, lose focus, and become increasing silly e.g. theme seasons. Ending strongly, like Seinfeld, while the writing, acting, and narrative of the series are strong (or at their apex) is the proper modus operandi. Leave fans with a good taste in their mouths instead of a sour one e.g. Dollhouse and Prison Break.
Penny Dreadful creator John Logan realized the show would end at the conclusion of Season 3 while writing Season 2:
This is a show about Vanessa Ives and her struggle with faith — how one woman grapples with God and the devil. Midway through the second season, when we were filming it —so about two years ago— I realized where we were heading. A woman who loses her faith in the second season, she has to grasp her way back. What that would take? To me, that was an apotheosis — she would find peace finally with God. I realized that’s where the show was heading, and so I talked to Eva about it and then I talked to David.
John Logan convinced Showtime President David Nevins that Season 3 was where the Penny Dreadful story should end:
John convinced me that this was the right end, and the right time to end. It gives closure to Vanessa Ives, and without Vanessa Ives, the show shouldn’t go on.
Penny Dreadful without Vanessa Ives (Eva Green) would have been a show missing its linchpin, key element.
Curb Your Enthusiasm will return to HBO for its ninth season. There is no word yet when the return will take place. HBO Programming President Casey Bloys had this to say about Larry David‘s decision to create a new season:
“We’re thrilled that Larry has decided to do a new season of CURB and can’t wait to see what he has planned,” said Bloys. Asked why he decided to come back, David said, “In the immortal words of Julius Caesar, ‘I left, I did nothing, I returned.’” CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM stars “Seinfeld” co-creator David as an over-the-top version of himself in an unsparing but tongue-in-cheek depiction of his life. With 80 episodes to date, the show is HBO’s longest-running scripted comedy or drama series.
Orphan Black has been renewed for a fifth season by BBC but that will be its last season. The episode count will be ten episodes like all of the previous seasons. Orphan Black: Season 5 will air sometime in 2017. Orphan Black co-creators John Fawcett and Graeme Manson had this to say about coming to the end of their series:
“We are excited to deliver an epic conclusion to the tale of Sarah and her clone sisters. The past four seasons have been a phenomenal adventure, and we are eternally grateful to our loyal fans who have loved the twists and thrills of our weird little show.”
BBC America President Sarah Barnett had this to say about Tatiana Maslany‘s riveting performances as multiple characters on the series:
Tatiana [Maslany] has been and continues to be a complete revelation, hers is one of the most remarkable performances on television, and she is joined by an extraordinary cast. We can’t wait to take our incredibly passionate audience on one final gobsmacking clone adventure.”
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