The upcoming fourth season of the critically acclaimed comedy The Good Place, in which four recently-deceased people arrive in The Good Place when they most definitely should have been sent to The Bad Place, will be its last.
The news comes from the show’s For Your Consideration Emmy panel last evening.
The show stars Kristen Bell as the de facto leader of the four misplaced souls and Ted Danson as their guide through the afterlife. Manny Jacinto, William Jackson Harper and Jameela Jamil make up the remaining members of the quartet while D’Arcy Carden is the human-appearing interface to an Alexa-like computer interface who is slowly gaining her own sentience. The show’s main theme of ethics and how people treat one another is hilariously explored as the group struggles to make sense of their otherworldly circumstances.
Series creator Mike Schur has previously maintained that the show, which would periodically reset the circumstances that its quartet of souls would find themselves in as they journey through the afterlife, was designed with a rather finite lifespan.
In a new interview with the Hollywood Reporter, Schur explained –
After season one ended and aired and it seemed like the show was going to survive the gauntlet of being a TV show in the modern era, I was like, “Well, this show isn’t a typical show where the goal is to do it as long as we can and as many episodes as we can.” It was never designed that way — we do 13 episodes per year from the beginning. I knew I needed to map this out in the same way that I mapped out the first season, I needed to map out the whole show. I didn’t feel like it needed to be definitive but I needed to have a sense of how long I thought the idea could sustain itself. I came to the conclusion pretty quickly that it was four seasons. There were times early on where I felt like maybe five and maybe it’s three. (Laughs.) Once I settled on four seasons, I didn’t tell anyone — except the writers. I didn’t tell the studio or network because I wanted to make sure that I was right and I wanted to leave open the possibility that as we as a team developed the show, I wanted to allow the possibility that something could change and there was more I wanted to do. But it was pretty much always four from early on as a general map.
Unlike other comedies which shoot for a 22-episode season and the hopes to last at least as long as 100 episodes in total as that’s where the syndication revenue lies. But The Good Place has maintained tight, 13-episode seasons in which it tells its highly serialized story. The upcoming fourth season will consist of fourteen episodes the last of which will be a one-hour finale.
Although the show only averages about 4 million viewers when it airs live, it has been a strong performer once a full week’s DVR and Hulu viewership is factored in, where it more than doubles.