Good news for "Big Love" fans: HBO gave a specific premiere date for the fifth season, which will debut on Sunday, January 16.

Bad news for "Big Love" fans: HBO also said that the fifth season will be the show's last.

 “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,” HBO exec Michael Lombardo said in a statement.  “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,” Olsen and Scheffer added.  “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.”

Now, if you read my coverage of the show at the old blog, you know I was never the world's biggest "Big Love" fan. There were parts of the show I thought were terrific (mostly the stuff involving the wives and Sarah), parts I found an absolute chore to get through (almost anything to do with Juniper Creek in general and Bill's parents in particular) and parts that were simply frustrating (the show's stubborn, opaque, bland portrait of Bill Henrickson himself). But both the fans and I seemed in agreement that the fourth season was a disaster, one that tried to stuff too much story into too few episodes. (Even Chloe Sevigny admitted that, calling it "awful" until her publicity team lamely convinced her to blame the reporter for tricking her into saying that.) 

The hope is that Olsen, Scheffer and company learned lessons from the fourth season, and that realizing early that this would be the final season allowed them to better modulate the amount of plot. The fear is that, in their race to do everything they always wanted to with these characters and this world before the end, we'll get an even more overstuffed, ridiculous season than the last one.

 

What does everybody else think? Are you going to be sad to see "Big Love" go? Or did season four take too much of the love away for you?

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