When it comes to ratings, The CW has far lower expectations than the big broadcast networks like NBC and CBS. Still, even The CW can only go so far when it comes to renewing shows with abysmal ratings, and the period drama Reign has finally gotten the ax after hanging on for three seasons, and the upcoming fourth season will be its final. We'll soon see our last of Mary, Queen of Scots and her fabulous wardrobe.

The official end of Reign will come as a bummer to fans, but there's no need to fret just yet. The news isn't all bad, since Season 4 of Reign is still in production on the 16 episodes that were ordered for 2017, according to The Wrap. The early cancellation means that the team behind the scenes will likely be able to craft a satisfying finale rather than throwing together a hasty ending or concluding the entire series on a cliffhanger. The team can plan their final episodes in a way that ties up all the loose ends that need tying and hopefully produce a last season that works for fans who have been watching from the very beginning.

reign francis mary queen of scots

Of course, the ending for Reign may have been planned out from the beginning. The show's consistently low ratings meant that a renewal was never a sure thing, but the historical aspect of Reign could mean that showrunner Laurie McCarthy and Co. have always had an idea of where they wanted to go with the series finale. Even though a lot of the events over the years have been fantastical departures from the history books, Reign has often stuck to the key moments. The show even killed off the popular character of King Francis II because his death was such a pivotal moment in the life and leadership of the real Mary back in the 16th century. Reign may well end the show in a way that honors the Mary, Queen of Scots from the history books.

That said, we might not want to count on seeing Mary's death in Reign Season 4. The real Queen of Scots died at the age of 44. Leading lady Adelaide Kane has made the role of Mary her own, but even the most expert makeup team at The CW probably won't be able to make the 26-year-old look 44. Besides, the real Mary came to a decidedly ugly end courtesy of an executioner. Fans deserve a happier ending to Reign than witnessing their heroine beheaded.

When The CW renewed Reign for Season 4, the network pushed the premiere date back from fall 2016 to midseason 2017, and fans can tune in on Fridays at 9 p.m. ET to catch new episodes of Reign starting on February 10, 2017. Take a look at our midseason TV premiere schedule to see what else you can check out in the new year.

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