HBO’s Big Love deserves credit for more than just being a critically acclaimed, Emmy nominated drama. It opened America’s eyes. It showed us that there are people in our country living vastly different lives than the majority of the population. But when you boil all the socio-religious commentary down, it showed us that polygamists are really just large families with many of the same problems that your own faces.
Unfortunately, the trials and tribulations of the Henrickson family are coming to a close as HBO announced that its wrapping up the series after its fifth season, which will begin airing in January 2011. The news comes at a time when the show hit a major crossroad. With the Henricksons no longer hiding their polygamist ways from the world (as seen in the season finale earlier this year), there are a plethora of narrative possibilities for producers and writers to explore. A new wave of anti-polygamist activity could trigger betrayal, fear, backlash and who knows what else. As the new season has been fully shot and is in the editing stage, I don’t think that the creative direction will be affected by this announcement, but my curiosity has now hit a fever pitch, knowing that this will be the beginning of the end for Bill, Barb, Marge, Nikki and the children.
Read on below for excerpts from the official press release:
“It has been an honor and pleasure to work with series creators Mark V. Olsen and Will Scheffer on this unique and provocative series, and I’m happy that they will be able to bring the story to its close the way they always envisioned,” said Michael Lombardo, president, HBO Programming. “We look forward with great anticipation to collaborating with Mark and Will on their next venture.”
“When we created Big Love in 2002, we had a strong conception of the journey the Henrickson family would make over the course of the series, of the story we had to tell,” said Mark V. Olsen and Will Scheffer. “While we were in the writers’ room this year shaping our fifth season, we discovered that we were approaching the culmination of that story. Big Love has been our all-consuming labor of love for the past eight years. We are very grateful for HBO’s continuing support and for the collaborative effort of our partners at Playtone, our producers, our fine cast and our fellow craftsmen and crew for making this show the exceptional and joyful experience that it’s been. This coming January, we look forward to presenting our audience with the most vibrant and satisfying final season of a television series that we can produce.”
“Big Love has been a truly rewarding experience in every way for Tom Hanks and me,” said executive producer Gary Goetzman. “We’ve been so fortunate to have had such a tremendous cast over the five seasons, and we’ve never been less than amazed with their brilliance and willingness to take risks. We’ve thoroughly enjoyed our partnership with Will and Mark and have always been blown away by their storytelling abilities. We believe this final season of Big Love will be the best ever.”