The Strain has brought a special kind of horror to FX over the past few years with its weekly vampiric scares. The series can be partly credited with making vampires properly scary again after projects like Twilight and The Vampire Diaries and even True Blood humanized them to a less-than-terrifying degree. We now know that the series is officially coming to an end after a fourth and final season. Still, fans shouldn't be too upset for one very big reason: The Strain wasn't actually cancelled by FX.
FX President of Original Programming Nick Grad revealed today that The Strain's executive producers Carlton Cuse, Guillermo del Toro, and Chuck Hogan are set to wrap up the story after its fourth season. The network is simply letting the team bring the show to a natural conclusion rather than forcing them to continue it indefinitely. The Strain was always designed as a limited-run series; we now know just how long that run will be.
The team behind The Strain has been able to map out the story for a limited run series thanks to the source material that inspired the series. The show is based on a trilogy of novels by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan, so there's no one better to make the page-to-screen decisions. Changes have been made to the source material, but the show has benefited from the framework of the novels as it has progressed over the last three seasons.
The Strain was originally designed as a project that would last for three seasons, one for each book of the trilogy. Once the show premiered, the plan shifted with a new goal of five seasons. Carlton Cuse explained during Season 2 that the first season covered the events of the first book, the second and third seasons would cover the second book, and the fourth and fifth seasons would cover the last book. The decision to end The Strain after Season 4 indicates that the team has found a way to fit the rest of the trilogy's major twists into one last season instead of two.
Chuck Hogan revealed to CinemaBlend before the premiere of Season 3 that the change from 13-episode seasons to 10-episode seasons has "supercharged" the storytelling of the series, which likely played a part in how the end of The Strain has been set to conclude sooner than anticipated. News of the fourth season also being the final season is undoubtedly a bummer for fans who have been holding on to the five-year plan, but everyone should take solace in the knowledge that FX is letting The Strain come to a natural conclusion rather than prolonging it until the excitement fizzles out. We'll get a full story in four parts out of The Strain, and that can only be a good thing.
Season 3 of The Strain is still on the air, so you can tune in to FX on Sundays at 10 p.m. ET to see what's in store for the humans as they continue in their battle against the vampires. Season 4 will hit the airwaves in summer 2017. Check out our fall TV premiere schedule to see what you'll be able to watch in the meantime.