For anybody working on a TV show, I imagine that there are few days better than the ones in which the announcement comes confirming the series will be back for another season. Currently on the tail end of Season 3, The Last Ship already got the grand news of a Season 4 renewal earlier this year, but now TNT's powers that be have decided to expand that renewal order to include an entirely separate batch of episodes, and we'll definitely see Season 5 of The Last Ship running ashore in 2018.
It was less than two months ago when TNT first announced The Last Ship would definitely be returning to audiences for a fourth season, and I guess the network execs have big faith in where things go from here, as it's extremely rare for a show to get a staggered renewal like this. (Multi-season renewals are becoming more common, but they still tend to happen simultaneously.) The news doesn't seem to be exclusively positive though, as the Season 5 order also marks a change in episode count. While Season 4 was initially set for 13 episodes, similar to the second and third, both of the upcoming seasons will be ten episodes each. Better than having them say it's the "final season" though.
Halfway based on the William Brinkley novel of the same name, The Last Ship exploded onto TNT's schedule a couple of years ago, riding high on the wealth of a great cast and a big name producer in Michael Bay. And now with Season 3 coming to a close next week, the drama has proven itself one of the network's biggest draws, with the action going much farther than its relatively small-scale first episodes implied. Keeping it going for what is now another two seasons should allow co-creators Hank Steinberg and Steven Kane the chance to put some advanced work on where the show will go in the future.
But I have to assume TNT is paying close attention to the fact that The Last Ship's ratings have not been as dependable as Eric Dane and Adam Baldwin's survival chances. Season 1 had ratings that almost demanded a second season, but audiences haven't turned out in quite the same way since. Season 3 did have the setback of a postponed premiere, but TNT's ad-cutting plans would hope to cure that somewhat. For a silver lining, The Last Ship is as solid as they come when delayed viewing is concerned, adding as much as 1.7 more viewers in Live+7 gains, which is ridiculously good.
Check out the trailer for next week's finale below.