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We're currently in an era of television in which just about anything is possible. Programming ranges from police procedurals to superhero series to zombie romps. One of the most unique shows of the past couple of years has been the gothic drama Penny Dreadful, which has run for three well-crafted seasons on Showtime. The Season 3 finale aired last night, but it now turns out that the season finale was actually a series finale. Because of the way the story shook out, Penny Dreadful is done for good on Showtime, and there will be no Season 4.
Series creator John Logan and Showtime CEO David Nevins came to the agreement to end Penny Dreadful when it became clear that Logan would be bringing the story of Vanessa Ives to a natural conclusion, according to EW. Even if the mythology of the show was still rich enough that further exploration could be warranted with more seasons, Dreadful ending with Vanessa sacrificing her life to save the world would bring about a fitting end that would honor the characters.
Penny Dreadful fans might find it a bit of a bummer that the Season 3 finale was actually the series finale. Unless a show gets an untimely cancellation, TV viewers usually know when a season finale is also the very last episode, but Dreadful's official end wasn't announced until the finale aired. On the whole, however, the surprise does have some sweetness to temper the bitter. It was possible to watch the episode without already mourning that there would be no more, and fans won't have to worry about a lack of closure.
John Logan certainly didn't conceal that the show was ending after Season 3 to try to trick fans. In fact, he has nothing but words of gratitude for the fans who tuned in over the past three years.
The one thing I would say is that one thing that's moved me most, in my introduction to television with this show, is the affection of the fans. The respect they have for the show and the characters is deeply touching to me, because mostly, as a dramatist, you write things, and people like it or they don't like it, and it's a sensation or it's not. But the level of commitment that our Dreadfuls have is deeply moving to me. I hope we've treated them fairly, and I hope we've treated them with honor.
The Penny Dreadful creator made a name for himself as a writer for the big screen with projects such as The Aviator, Gladiator, and Hugo. Hopefully, John Logan's success as an executive producer and writer on his own Showtime show means that he'll bring his talents back to the small screen in the future. Penny Dreadful was certainly a one-of-a-kind show, and it's safe to say that Logan could have more dynamic ideas up his sleeve.
Check out our schedule of summer TV premiere dates to see what you can watch now that Penny Dreadful has come to an end.