'Raising Hope' Showrunner Bids Farewell to Fox Comedy (Guest Column)

Raising Hope Wedding - P 2014
Courtesy of FOX

Raising Hope Wedding - P 2014

Raising Hope will end its four-season run on Friday with an hourlong episode that takes the comedy back to its roots.

The series was created by Greg Garcia (My Name Is Earl), who exited the 20th Century Fox TV comedy ahead of season four after inking an overall deal with rival studio CBS Television Studios.

Longtime Garcia collaborator Mike Mariano was tapped showrunner of the comedy starring Martha Plimpton, Garret Dillahunt and Lucas Neff last March. A year, a move to Fridays and 22 episodes later, Mariano was the one charged with creating a season finale that, as it turns out, had to double as a series finale.

First-time showrunner Mariano, who started the season with an essay for THR about taking over Raising Hope, now writes about his experience in bringing the beloved cult comedy to a close.

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"Taking over as showrunner in season four of someone else's series is kind of scary. Filling the shoes of a guy who has created three series that have entered syndication, employed you for 12 years and happens to be one of your best friends is terrifying. So much so, that I almost turned down the job.

But in the end, I'm grateful that Greg Garcia gave me this opportunity, and I'm very proud of not only the episodes we made this season, but that I was able to maintain the amazing work environment that Greg created. Ultimately, the hardest part of this job wasn't doing it, it was realizing that I won’t be doing it again next season.

By the time I began planning the season four finale of Raising Hope, I knew there was a possibility that it would be a series finale. But I didn't know for sure, and I wanted to create an episode that would give the show its best shot at a season five pickup. 

Threading the needle between these competing forces is what led to "The Father Daughter Dance." A new beginning in the life of the Chance family, that echoes the event that brought them to life in the first place."

The Raising Hope series finale airs on Friday at 9 p.m. on Fox.