Why Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist’s Showrunner Didn’t Consider Cancellation When Planning The Season 2 Finale

Zoey is emotional in Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist

Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist Season 2 has been a tuneful whirlwind of emotions thus far, between losing fan favorite characters, keepings its wild love triangle together, and dealing out some major heartbreak. With the season finale rapidly approaching, combined with the fact that NBC hasn't yet renewed the musical dramedy for Season 3, fans have some major questions about what to expect, and how "finalized" the installment's conclusion will be. Showrunner Austin Winsberg has addressed these concerns, saying that he has been and will be acting as if Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist still has a future on NBC, and he explained why he did not consider cancellation when writing the Season 2 finale.

In an interview with TV Line, showrunner Austin Winsberg said that the upcoming Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist Season 2 finale is not intended to serve as a series finale. Although NBC has not said whether the sophomore series will be renewed or canceled, Winsberg says that no one at the network has given him any indication that he should have written to any kind of a set-in-stone ending. In his words:

I approached it like we are continuing. There are certain things that are answered at the end of the season, and then there are still a few big cliffhangers that we leave open for major storylines in Season 3. At no point in the process did anybody tell me to not do that. I wanted to end the season on a hopeful note, not on a bad note.

So it sounds like there are some character storylines that will get some answers and come to a close, as it were, there will still be plenty of material left open-ended for the creative team to work on for a potential third season. Seeing as how there will apparently be some pretty big cliffhangers in the upcoming finale, it would really be a slap in the face to both fans and the cast/crew if NBC were to pull the plug after the episode was already filmed and in the can.

Although heartbreak, emotional loss, and other challenges are certainly faced on a regular basis in Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist, an ongoing theme of the show has always been "hope." For the same reason that Austin Winsberg did not include COVID in the second season, he seems to be presenting the finale as if the show still has a full future on NBC. Here, Winsberg reiterates that he did not go into the episode believing it to be the last Zoey installment he'd be putting together .

[There are] a few really big surprises in the season finale that hint at potential things to come in major ways. So in no way have I written the season finale like it is a series finale at all.

While it can be promising to hear a showrunner talk as if he has all the intentions in the world of continuing a series, the last word obviously will have to come from NBC, and networks have a way of destroying such promises. If the execs do end up canceling the series, it could leave fans with loose ends that never get tied up, a fate that has befallen so many shows before.

It looks like we’ll just have to wait and see what the network decides, but one thing is for sure: we have at least one more episode to look forward to. The Season 2 finale of Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist will air on NBC on Sunday, May 16, at 9:00 p.m. ET, and while it’s titles “Zoey’s Extraordinary Goodbye,” it certainly wasn’t written as a final goodbye, extraordinary or otherwise.

Carlie Hoke
Content Writer

Constantly thinking about books, coffee, and the existential dread I feel from Bo Burnham’s Inside.  While writing I’m also raising a chaotic toddler, who may or may not have picked up personality traits from watching one too many episodes of Trailer Park Boys.