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HBO has confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter that the Lena Dunham-Judd Apatow comedy will end its run after season six. HBO declined comment.
The news, first reported by E! Online, comes as the awards season darling is heading into its previously announced fifth season; a sixth cycle of the series has not yet been announced.
“Lena Dunham and her brilliant collaborators, including Judd Apatow and Jenni Konner, have given HBO a signature series of rare wit and intelligence,” said HBO programming president Michael Lombardo. “They are exceptional talents, and I can’t wait to see what Lena, Jenni and Judd have in store for the final seasons of this unique show, and look forward to working with them on future projects.”
“I can’t imagine a more fulfilling creative experience than Girls,” added Dunham. “The freedom and support that HBO has given Jenni, Judd and me is something rare and beautiful. The commitment and originality of our actors has been stunning, and our crew is truly my family. I conceived of Girls when I was 23 and now I’m nearly 30 – the show has quite perfectly spanned my 20s, the period of time that it’s about – and so it feels like the right time to wrap our story up. We look forward to creating a sixth season that will honor our amazing cast, crew and fans. And in the Girls universe, nothing ever ends too neatly.”
Created by and starring Dunham, Girls remains a cornerstone of the premium cable network’s original scripted programming and a staple of the cultural dialogue. The series was renewed for season five last January at its season four premiere party in New York; the comedy returns Sunday, Feb. 21.
Speaking with THR after the season four finale, star and co-showrunner Jenni Konner said producers would have a better feel for the future of the series after season five was arced out.
“I would say season five — I’m hoping, will really inform how much further we want to go. Once we figure out what season five is, we’ll know whether it’s another year,” she said at the time. “Maybe it’s just one more year, maybe we wrap it up in six. It all depends. But also we’re not in the business of running it into the ground. We would like to end in a graceful place. And we’d like to tell a complete story. What that means is that we really have to start building towards an end soon, creatively.”
Girls has been an awards season staple for HBO. The series won its first Emmy in 2012 for casting. Its young cast, including Dunham, Konner, Allison Williams, Adam Driver and more, have used the series to become part of Hollywood’s new A-list. The comedy also won a Golden Globe for best comedy in 2013 and has been nominated in the same category multiple times at the Emmys.
For HBO, Girls helped the premium cable network build a roster of sometimes niche comedy, including Togetherness, Getting On and more. The cabler next has freshman series including Sarah Jessica Parker comedy Divorce, pot comedy High Maintenance and the long-in-the-works Vice Principals. HBO’s comedy slate also includes season two of Ballers and Togetherness as well as critical darlings and awards staples Silicon Valley and Veep, among others.
Updated Wednesday, January 6 at 11:50 p.m. with HBO’s confirmation and quotes from Lombardo and Dunham.
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