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Just weeks before Netflix released its latest batch of episodes of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, fans learned that that the fourth season, the first half of which dropped on Wednesday, would be the series’ last.
But the end is not as near as it might seem.
Speaking with The Hollywood Reporter, co-showrunner Robert Carlock revealed that the second half of season four, initially expected to arrive later this year, will instead likely drop in 2019, giving the streaming service plenty of time to promote the final episodes.
After this story was published, in which Carlock says there wasn’t yet “a set date” for when the rest of season four would air, Netflix announced that the second half of season four would premiere Jan. 25.
“Netflix has been very generous with the marketing for us and I think they want to be able to launch it properly and, with everything they have going right now, it’s just our feeling that it will take them a little while to find the space and time to do that. So that will be a good thing, I think, for us,” Carlock said of the show ending in 2019.
Additionally, Carlock says as the team behind Kimmy Schmidt began working on the current season and breaking it into two parts, the group saw the second part of season four as a shortened fifth season, bringing them close to the five-season run they’d initially envisioned for the show.
“We came into the season not necessarily thinking that way,” Carlock says. “But in the past few months, we’ve been thinking [the series] is heading toward its conclusion.”
“We were never quite sure what the life of the show wanted to be,” he adds. “When we split up this fourth season into kind of a fourth and a fifth — just in the boring, most practical way, you could think of them as two short seasons — one wouldn’t be coming out until 2019, so it just felt like the right time to pull up stakes since we were kind of pushing ourselves into next year.”
Filming was only halfway complete when sources told THR that the fourth season would be Kimmy Schmidt‘s last, so the cast and crew have time to craft a proper ending.
Carlock, who co-created the show with Tina Fey, adds that plans are still in the works to end Kimmy’s (Ellie Kemper) adventures — as well as those of her unconventional assortment of friends — with a movie, the deal for which is still being worked out, Carlock says.
“We now have a shorter runway than we originally thought we would and don’t want to overstuff it and rush it,” he says. “And there are things that I think would be fun to hold off for kind of a big epic finale in feature form.”
As to whether the movie would just be for Netflix or have a theatrical release, Carlock says, “I don’t know. That’s a good question. I think it’s probably just for the platform. Sometimes they do both but I don’t know if we’ve gotten down to crossing those T’s just yet.”
The first half of season four, six episodes, began streaming Wednesday, with Carlock previously telling THR that the #MeToo movement would be “very present” in those episodes.
“Kimmy [will be] confronting some things in a workplace. It’s the first time she’s ever been in a workplace, and that changes the rules,” he explained in February. “That movement, whether we talk about it expressly or not, is very present in how Kimmy looks at the world, and you talk about someone who represents the relief of that happening and [the sense that] hopefully it’s not too late for other people.”
The trailer for the series revealed that it would be Kimmy, not a powerful man, who would be accused of sexual harassment, suggesting a twist similar to how Carlock and Fey tackled the issue of inappropriate workplace behavior on NBC’s since-canceled Great News.
Carlock and Fey’s previous series, 30 Rock, which 30 Rock alum and Kimmy Schmidt co-star Jane Krakowski has said could be rebooted as part of the revival trend, ran for seven seasons on NBC, but the last season was a shortened run.
May 31, 12:21 p.m. This story has been updated with the premiere date for the second half of season four.
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