6:15am PT by Lesley Goldberg
'Game of Thrones,' 'Big Bang Theory' and 24 More TV Shows Ending in 2019
For a showrunner, there may be no better gift than the knowledge — in advance — that the show they've put their heart and soul into is ending. Such is the case with the below comedies and dramas, the select few that networks — broadcast, cable and streaming alike — have informed in advance that their forthcoming seasons will be the end of the road. In many of these cases, network executives deferred to the creatives about when the timing was right to call it a day. Read on for a look at all the shows that will wrap their runs in 2019.
Game of Thrones (HBO)
The most-watched show in HBO's history and a global phenomenon, the fantasy drama based on George R.R. Martin's book series will wrap its run in early 2019 with season eight. While the Emmy-winning drama from showrunners D.B. Weiss and David Benioff will bid farewell with six episodes, there's still a prequel spinoff in the works and yes, the actual end of the book series to look forward to.
The Big Bang Theory (CBS)
The nerdy series from co-creators Chuck Lorre and Bill Prady will wrap its run after season 12, concluding as TV's longest-running multicamera comedy in history. Emmy-winning star Jim Parsons ultimately decided he was done with his time as the brilliant Dr. Sheldon Cooper, with Lorre opting to close up shop on the CBS comedy rather than proceed without one of the show's central characters. The Warner Bros. TV comedy ranks as one of the highest-rated series on all of television. Johnny Galecki, Kaley Cuoco, Simon Helberg, Kunal Nayyar, Melissa Rauch and Mayim Bialik round out the cast, who will earn more than $1 million an episode for the final season.
Orange Is the New Black (Netflix)
The awards season darling helped solidify Netflix as a destination for scripted originals, arriving shortly after House of Cards pushed the streamer's into the pricey genre. The Jenji Kohan-created prison dramedy, based on Piper Kerman's memoir of the same name, bowed to critical acclaim in 2013 earned an Emmy win for best comedy in its first year eligible. The series, starring Taylor Schilling and Laura Prepon, also broke ground when Laverne Cox became the first transgender person to earn an Emmy nomination. Although Netflix does not release viewership information, the streamer has revealed that the Lionsgate TV-produced series ranks as one of its most-watched originals.
One of the first series greenlit by current Showtime CEO David Nevins, the Claire Danes terrorism drama will wrap its run after eight seasons as showrunner Alex Gansa brings the series to its proper conclusion. The final season is expected to air in the first quarter of 2019.
HBO's critical gem will wrap with its forthcoming seventh season, as production took time off to accommodate star Julia Louis-Dreyfus' treatment for breast cancer. "We don't want to repeat ourselves or wear out our welcome. The story has a finality to it that feels end-of-series," the actress told THR in September about the decision to end the comedy. A few weeks later — and the day after she won another Emmy for her role in the David Mandel-run series — the actress revealed her breast cancer diagnosis.
Mr. Robot (USA Network)
Sam Esmail always envisioned either four or five seasons for his hacker drama. Ultimately, he decided that Elliot's (Rami Malek) journey would end with what sources say is a 12-episode fourth and final season. The series will return for its final run in 2019 after taking more than a year off.
The Deuce (HBO)
The drama from David Simon and George Pelecanos and starring Maggie Gyllenhaal and James Franco follows the rise of the porn industry in New York in the 1970s and '80s. Both Simon and Pelecanos have said all along that they had a three-season plan for the critically acclaimed drama. "We're always conjuring the last scene before we write the first," Simon wrote. "So much the better when we work for people who allow us to consistently plan, arc and execute as intended. Thanks, HBO, for the third and final season renewal and the chance for The Deuce to tell its full story."
Jane the Virgin (The CW)
From showrunner Jennie Snyder Urman, the drama — based on the telenovela of the same name — helped rocket Gina Rodriguez into a mainstream star after sparking conversations of representation in television and film. The actress, who now has multiple other projects lined up, became the face of The CW and an awards season favorite. The series will conclude its run after five seasons.
While there are still a lot of details that still need to be worked out, creator Jill Soloway said in a THR cover story that she sees season five of Transparent as being the end. What remains unclear is how the show will move forward without fired star Jeffrey Tambor, who starred as the comedy's central trans parent. New Amazon Studios head Jennifer Salke told THR that Soloway has a "great idea" about how to wrap the series, but it's yet to be determined if it'll be a full season, limited special or a movie. (Tambor's role will not be recast.)
The critically acclaimed U.K. romantic comedy from creators, writers, stars and exec producers Sharon Horgan and Rob Delaney will wrap its run this year with its fourth and final season. The series has helped propel both of its multi-talented stars to other opportunities in the TV world.
The Man in the High Castle (Amazon)
Based on author Philip K. Dick's 1962 alternate history novel, the drama will conclude with its fourth season on the streamer after originally launching as its most-watched original series. Alexa Davalos, Joel De La Fuente and Rufus Sewell star in the drama from showrunner Eric Overmyer.
The Affair (Showtime)
The twisty family drama from creator Sarah Treem will wrap with its fifth season on the premium cable network. Original star Ruth Wilson's Alison was shockingly killed off in season four, which launched the series into a murder-mystery plot. Stars Joshua Jackson, Dominic West and Maura Tierney are all expected back for the final run.
Broad City (Comedy Central)
As stars Ilana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson continue to explode on the big screen, the Viacom-owned cable network said the previously announced fifth season of the critical favorite will be its last. Glazer and Jacobson decided to end the series about two twenty-somethings in New York as they "didn't want to overstretch it beyond plausibility," Comedy Central president Kent Alterman said.
Crazy Ex-Girlfriend (The CW)
Originally developed as a half-hour comedy for Showtime, the Rachel Bloom vehicle from Aline Brosh McKenna was never a ratings breakout but it served as a critical favorite and awards player for The CW. It will wrap with its fourth season. "We're a show about a very specific journey in a person's life. And it's not really a sitcom meant to spit out copies of itself," Bloom said at the end of season one. "Very early on, we called it a 50-hour movie. I think we're beyond that now. There's always going to be plot movement, so there's only so far I think you can go with that. It could be five, but I think around four would be ideal for us creatively."
You're the Worst (FXX)
Never a ratings breakout, the Stephen Falk-created anti-rom-com starring Aya Cash, Chris Geere, Kether Donohue and Desmin Borges will close up shop with its fifth and final season that will explore commitment. The series won critical support for its handling of stories including clinical depression and PTSD. The final season bows in January.
Creator Noah Hawley envisioned a three-season run for his Marvel X-Men prequel series and that's just what he's getting. The series starring Dan Stevens and Aubrey Plaza will introduce Professor X in its third and final season. The iconic comic book character will be played by Game of Thrones grad Harry Lloyd.
The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (Netflix)
Originally developed as a straight-to-series comedy for NBC, the niche comedy moved to Netflix, where it has become a critical favorite. The fourth and final season of the Ellie Kemper comedy is being split in two and there are plans for a potential big-screen movie. "If we're lucky enough to get to do the movie, I think it would be a stand-alone idea," Fey told THR.
Fuller House (Netflix)
The Full House update with all its original stars was renewed for a fifth and final season to air in late 2019. Series creator and showrunner Jeff Franklin was ousted (over behavioral issues) before he could see the series to its endgame.
Young Bruce Wayne will finally transform into the Caped Crusader in the fifth and final season of Fox's Batman prequel. The abbreviated season arrives amid a programming pivot to broad-skewing procedurals and multicamera comedies as the broadcaster prepares for life after the Disney deal that will see its TV studio move to the Mouse House. That the show managed a renewal following the bloodbath at Fox is a credit to producers Warner Bros. TV, which needs only 13 episodes for Gotham to hit the 100-episode milestone needed to sell the show in syndication.
The Sherlock Holmes drama starring Jonny Lee Miller and Lucy Liu will wrap its run with its abbreviated seventh season. The 13-episode season was always intended to be the final run for the procedural, which has been cash cow thanks to its strong international appeal and lucrative SVOD deals.
A Series of Unfortunate Events (Netflix)
Star and producer Neil Patrick Harris confirmed that the streamer's take on the 13-book series of Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events would indeed conclude with three seasons as producers had always envisioned. Season one covered the first four novels, while season two covered five through nine. The third and final run will cover the last four.
Into the Badlands (AMC)
The martial arts drama will wrap with its third season on the basic cable network. Never a ratings breakout, the Daniel Wu-led drama required a sizable budget for its elaborate stunts and visual effects. The series, which wraps with eight remaining episodes, is from showrunners Alfred Gough.
The Son (AMC)
The Pierce Brosnan-led Western is based on Philipp Meyer's novel and will end with its second season on AMC. The series performed decently on low-rated Saturdays and its early cancellation may have been due largely to AMC's executive regime change (well, that and the fact that its budget was on the high end for a basic cable show).
An example of how streaming deals are impacting linear programming, the Freeform genre drama was expected to get a fourth season. However, when producers Constantin Film lost its output deal with Netflix, the TV series based on the Mortal Instruments feature films became too expensive for Disney's younger-skewing cable network. Shadowhunters will wrap its run with a two-hour series finale that will bring the drama to a proper conclusion.
iZombie (The CW)
Based on the DC Comics title, the Rob Thomas dramedy starring Rose McIver will wrap with its fifth season after being a sturdy midseason performer for the younger-skewing broadcaster.
Joe Swanberg's individual episodic anthology will call it a day after three seasons on the streaming giant. The half-hour single-camera comedy series will, in mumblecore fashion, be written, directed and executive produced by Swanberg as he explores diverse Chicago characters as they fumble through the modern maze of love, sex, technology and culture. Swanberg is considered one of a handful of writer-directors most associated with mumblecore, which is a style of low-budget feature filmmaking in which dialogue is improvised and, in some cases, often performed by non-professionals.
The drama about a trio of interplanetary bounty hunters — rebel leader Dutch (Hannah John-Kamen), tech-savvy John Jaqobis (Aaron Ashmore) and tactical D’avin Jaqobis (Luke MacFarlane) — on the brink of a multiplanetary war will wrap after five seasons. The Universal Cable Productions series was given a rare two-season pickup with the early knowledge that the remaining 20 episodes would be its last.