Generally, a TV series has to wait until its most recent ratings have been evaluated before its fate can be decided, but that’s not so much the case over at Amazon, where the renewals can sometimes come fancy-free and without any evaluations necessary. For instance, the company put in an official order for Season 4 of the critically acclaimed dramedy Transparent, which is still quite a few months away from bringing Season 3 to audiences. In Maura, they trust.
Season 4 of Transparent is set to hit Amazon at some point in 2017, presumably in the last few months. Though the number of episodes viewers can expect to see wasn’t specifically noted, it would be silly to assume anything will change from the ten-episode structure of the first two seasons. We could definitely all handle more than five hours a year with the Pfeffermans, but I’m not sure the family could handle it themselves.
Honestly, it’s somewhat surprising that Amazon hasn’t already dropped a multi-season renewal on Transparent yet, given how successful the show has been, at least in terms of winning awards and building a name for itself in a TV landscape where the transgender community is all but absent. Amazon doesn’t go public with viewer numbers, but we have to assume that those are accordingly high enough to earn the show’s existence for at least another year and a half.
In Season 4, we can definitely expect to see the excellent Jeffrey Tambor reprising his role as patriarch/matriarch Maura, along with the family offspring Sarah (Amy Landecker), Ali (Gaby Hoffmann) and Josh (Jay Duplass), as well as their mother Shelly (Judith Light). We will likely also see other familiar outlier characters like Sarah’s ex Len (Rob Huebel) and hopefully Kathryn Hahn’s Rabbi Raquel. As far as where this dysfunctional family’s trials and tribulations will take them, I think it’s safe to assume “the most uncomfortable places” will be there.
Amazon took a similar approach to Transparent’s future last year, when Season 3 was ordered seven months before Season 2 premiered. If only all networks and outlets could be this confident in a project, we wouldn’t have to worry about series cancellations breaking our couch potato hearts all the time. To build up further goodwill, Amazon has used Transparent’s success at the Golden Globes and Emmys to rope in new customers that will likely keep the company’s scripted efforts going for the long haul.
Transparent creator Jill Soloway is currently working on her next project with Amazon, the Kevin Bacon-starring pilot I Love Dick. The service also has a pilot with Kelsey Grammer in development, as well as the upcoming Jeremy Clarkson-fronted car show The Grand Tour and additional seasons of current greats like The Man in the High Castle and Red Oaks. The future will be great, but in the present, you can find both seasons of Transparent currently streaming.