In today’s age of television, it seems successful shows have a long run. For example, Grey’s Anatomy has been on the air for 15 years. The Big Bang Theory had 12 seasons. So, it may come as a shock to some fans that The Good Place will be ending after its fourth season. But why?
A Smash Hit
When NBC’s The Good Place premiered in 2016, it was a smash hit. The Emmy-nominated sitcom, starring Kristen Bell and Cheers alum Ted Danson, allows audiences to get a whimsical, comedic view of the afterlife. Swear words are replaced with terms like “fork” and “shirt.” So, when Bell’s Eleanor wakes up in the Good Place following her death, she’s unsure why she’s even there. She wasn’t necessarily good and kind during her time on Earth. Danson’s Michael, along with Eleanor’s assigned soulmate Chidi [William Jackson Harper], Eleanor must learn how to be a better person. She has to earn her standing in the Good Place— before it’s too late.
Fans connected with the show’s concept. They loved the show’s twists and turns, philosophy lessons, and quirky humor. So, it might be hard to believe that the show is already ending after its fourth season. The final season is set to premiere on September 26, 2019, on NBC. But why did creators and producers decide to end the show? The show was a big hit, so why is it ending?
The Creator’s Decision
Most often, it’s not the creator’s choice to end a show. Instead, the series is canceled by the network due to poor ratings. However, that’s not the case for The Good Place. It was critically acclaimed and widely praised by fans. But creator Mike Schur [who also created The Office, Parks and Recreation, and Brooklyn Nine-Nine] ultimately decided after four seasons, the storyline was coming to an end.
“The upcoming fourth season will be our last. I will be forever grateful to NBC and Universal TV for letting us make The Good Place, and for letting us end it on our own schedule,” Schur said. It might be the last season, but Schur hopes fans will be pleased with the show’s conclusion. He adds, “It’s a bullet train. It doesn’t slow down for anything.”
The Cast Agrees
Creators and producers didn’t want the show to overstay its welcome. The cast publicly supported the decision. In June 2019, Danson said he gives Schur “much respect” for choosing to end the show on his own terms. After all, a show’s creator should have the final say in how his/her show ends.
Bell added, “Schur waited for the story to tell him when it ended. He didn’t want anyone to get fatigued about this journey.” Harper commented, “It’s definitely bittersweet, but I’m happy that we’re ending on our own terms rather than just continuing in zombie mode until no one likes the show anymore.” That’s the last thing you want. A show should always end when it’s receiving positive ratings, not failing miserably.
Ending On A High Note
When the show was picked up for a second season, Schur decided the show should only have four seasons. The creator purportedly wanted to end the show on a high note—to avoid the inevitable “bad season” that threatens every good television sitcom. The show won’t invent additional, unnecessary storylines to keep the show going. Instead, it will end with a beautiful season the fans deserve.
Fans have many exciting things to look forward to this final season. For example, the season will feature famous guest stars: Maya Rudolph as the Judge, Adam Scott as the Bad Place’s own Trevor, and Michael McKean as afterlife predictor Doug Forcett. The season will also include 14 episodes, instead of the traditional 13 episodes per season.
Finally, fans can look forward to watching an hour-long series finale that, according to Schur, will have one gigantic story that will serve as the end of the series for every character. It will wrap up the show, hopefully in a good way. Are you excited yet?
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