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The world of Scientology has been a big topic in pop culture in recent years, with HBO's Emmy-winning documentary Going Clear serving as the arguable zenith. In terms of episodic television, the most prominent take on the Church of Scientology hails from A&E, with Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath taking home its own Emmy in 2017. Now, around six months after Season 3 of the docu-series finished, A&E has announced the series is ending.
Thankfully for those who have been the most loyal viewers over the past three years, Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath is giving audiences just a little more before bowing out for good. The series will offer up one final installment in the form of a two-hour finale, filmed in front of a live audience.
On Monday, August 26, Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath will air its last episode, which will see former King of Queens and Kevin Can Wait star Leah Remini taking the stage with the A&E series' co-creator Mike Rinder. According to a synopsis (via EW), the live special will see Remini and Rinder further discussing the Church's allegedly damaging practices, such as the way victims of alleged abuse or sexual assault are said to be impeded from reporting claims to authorities.
The Scientology and the Aftermath special will reportedly also bring in a team of law enforcement experts, as well as legal and psychological experts. These special guests will offer up advice and further information about how former members of the Church of Scientology can assist in efforts to bring justice to others.
Below is a hopeful and gratitude-filled farewell statement released by Leah Remini herself.
Mike and I will always be grateful to A&E for giving us a platform to expose Scientology and give the victims a chance to be heard. Without the A&E team’s support The Aftermath wouldn’t be what we intended. We recognized it was time to move on to the next chapter and help people in new ways. We thank our viewers for caring in the way that you do. It means everything to us. There is not a day that goes by that we don’t have people stop us with a ‘thank you for doing what you guys are doing’ and it’s your support that gives us our strength to carry on. And carry on, we will.
Not that Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath has been without its own controversies and detractions. Basically ever since the show first came into being at A&E following the publishing of Remini's book Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology, the show has been accused by the Church of Scientology of, among other things, proliferating falsehoods with its various claims. Not only the various allegations made on the show by former members, but also the docu-series' bigger-picture focuses, such as Remini and Mike Rinder's claims that Shelly Miscavige, wife of Church leader David Miscavige, has been missing.
It would appear that the Church of Scientology hasn't heard the last of show creators Leah Remini, a former follower from the age of 9 until the age of 43, and Mike Rinder, a former high-ranking Church member until 2007. In a blog post announcing the show's ending, Rinder hinted at more to come in this field of focus. In his words:
Our work is not done yet. Unfortunately sponsored television has limitations. There are things we cannot film or show on camera because of certain restrictions. These restrictions have limited us in many ways to tell the full story and in some cases, not permitted us to tell the story at all. For us, the work never stops. There are things we and others have done and are doing that have not been able to air.
While it's unclear exactly what Mike Rinder is talking about, whether its non-sponsored streaming TV or something more independently web-centered, it appears he and Leah Remini hope to maintain the following they've built up through the A&E series. For what it's worth, Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath earned its third Emmy nomination for Outstanding Informational Series or Special for this year's ceremony. Fans will get to see if the show can pick up its second Emmy, nearly a month after officially ending, when Fox airs the awards ceremony on September 22.
For anyone who wants to tune in to see the final episode of Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath, be sure to tune into A&E on Monday, August 26, at 9:00 p.m. ET. For a bunch of other shows that don't necessarily have anything to do with Scientology or Leah Remini, check out our fall TV premiere schedule to see what other excellence is on the way.