This year will see the end of some truly great television.
In addition to "The Leftovers" airing its third and final season in the fall, so too will SundanceTV's "Rectify." The upcoming fourth season will be its last, according to an announcement made at the TCA press tour Friday afternoon.
"'Rectify' is in many ways an existential story that was allowed to come to life during an existential era in serial storytelling,” creator Ray McKinnon said in a statement. "It was a case of perfect timing with the perfect partners. I have always felt that 'Rectify' could end at any time or just as easily continue. Well, not easily. But there is no perfect 'end' for this story nor for these characters. They will continue to live on. We just won’t document them any longer. And the timing of this 'non-end' end feels exactly right. SundanceTV has been a dream to work with on this journey; I am so grateful to have been allowed the freedom to tell the tale I wanted to tell in the way I felt it should be told with the mad and beautiful collaborators who joined me on the ride… Oh wait, we haven’t shot the final season yet. I’ll get back to you."
When Indiewire spoke with Mr. McKinnon prior to Season 3's release, he said he already had "an image" in mind for how the series might end.
"I have an image of how it is going to end if we continue down this path," McKinnon said. "If we go forward, nothing is ever a guarantee, but yeah I have an image, that I see, that would be wonderfully sad to get to if that happens, but sad in a good way."
The critically-acclaimed series has gone through slight variations in its first three seasons. Its six-episode first season helped put SundanceTV on the map as a bold and brave producer of high-quality original content. Season 2 saw an increased order from the network in an effort to draw more attention to the low-rated series, as well as boost its awards odds. After McKinnon stated 10 episodes were too many, the order was cut back to six in Season 3, and the drama won a Peabody Award in 2015. Viewers could feel an end on the horizon, and now the timing of that series finale has been confirmed.
Production on Season 4 is scheduled to begin this April. The final season will air in fall 2016.