May 11, 2014 9:35am PT by Lesley Goldberg
NBC Renews 'Parenthood' for Sixth and Final Season
NBC is bringing back the Bravermans for one final run.
The family drama from Friday Night Lights boss Jason Katims will be back for a sixth season after coming to terms with its A-list cast for an abbreviated final season of 13 episodes. The official announcement was included in NBC's 2014-15 upfront schedule release, with Parenthood slated to kick off the season with a return to its Thursdays at 10 p.m. slot.
Executive producers and the sprawling cast -- which includes Peter Krause, Lauren Graham, Dax Shepard, Monica Potter, Erika Christensen, Craig T. Nelson, Bonnie Bedelia and Mae Whitman, among others -- had been asked to take a pay cut in a bid to make Parenthood "more economically feasible." NBC wrestled the cost of the show to around $3.5 million a few years ago and has since refused any pay raises. For the past few seasons, the series -- which doesn't generate strong overseas revenue -- was saved by a deal with Netflix.
In its fifth season -- the first in the prized and previously problematic Thursdays at 10 p.m. slot -- the critically praised series has averaged a 1.3 in the key demo. That jumped an impressive 77 percent with seven days of DVR viewing, typically outperforming the rest of NBC's Thursday offerings. The recent season five finale could have served as a fulfilling series finale as Parenthood continued to live on the bubble.
PHOTOS: Broadcast TV's Returning Shows 2014-15
From sibling studio Universal Television, Parenthood was joined this season by a second Katims-led vehicle -- the David Walton-Minnie Driver comedy About a Boy. The remake has also been renewed for a sophomore run. Meanwhile, Katims will fall short of having three shows on the air next season after NBC passed on weight-loss comedy Ellen More or Less, which had drawn rave reviews internally for newcomer Stacey McGunnigle.
Parenthood joins returning dramas Chicago Fire, Grimm, Hannibal and Law & Order: SVU as well as renewed freshmen The Blacklist and Chicago PD on NBC's schedule. The network will also bow new dramas State of Affairs, Clementine, Mysteries of Laura, Allegiance, Odyssey and Constantine, as well as limited fare Aquarius, Emerald City and The Slap.
Parenthood will join NBC's critical darling comedy Parks and Recreation for a farewell tour next season. A formal announcement about Parks is expected to come during NBC's upfront presentation next week.
For a complete guide for all the new series as well as what's been renewed or canceled, head to THR's handy scorecard.