As has been somewhat expected for a while, TNT has decided not to move forward with a sixth season of "Leverage."
 
The cable network announced on Friday that the Tuesday, December 25 episode of the plucky drama will be its last. 
 
"We are honored to have worked with executive producer Dean Devlin, Electric Entertainment, creators John Rogers and Chris Downey, and all the cast and production crew on 'Leverage,'" TNT says in a statement. "We look forward to exploring new opportunities to work with them again in the future. We also want to thank the passionately devoted fans of 'Leverage,' who have been the driving force behind its success."
 
TNT's confirmation came shortly after Devlin posted a message to similar effect on the LeverageFans.com website.
 
"The Long Goodbye is our final goodbye," Devlin wrote. "It has been decided today that this Tuesday’s episode of 'Leverage,' 'The Long Goodbye Job' will be the series finale as TNT has decided not to renew the show for a sixth season. I want to take the opportunity to thank TNT for five amazing seasons and 77 episodes of a show that has been so good to me. I’m incredibly proud of the show and what we’ve accomplished. Throughout this journey TNT have been the most amazing partners. Their support and collaboration I will cherish forever."
 
A little over a week ago, Devlin warned fans on the same site that the Christmas episode had been designed as a possible series finale in case TNT didn't give the series a last-minute renewal.
 
Devlin concluded his Friday missive, "And, of course, on behalf of everyone involved in the show, thank you to all the fans who’ve supported us and the show.  You have amazed us all.  We love you and thank you all. I’m so happy we were able to film the series finale we had always envisioned and I’m happy we’re able to present it on Christmas as our gift to you.  It’s a bittersweet goodbye."
 
For its part, TNT calls "the Long Goodbye Job," "a series finale that stands as one of the show’s best episodes."
 
Timothy Hutton, Gina Bellman, Christian Kane, Beth Riesgraf and Aldis Hodge starred on "Leverage," which premiered in 2008 and will be airing its 77th episode on tuesday.