Keegan-Michael Key's declaration that this current season of "Key & Peele" would be the sketch comedy's last was a surprise to many fans. But the people working on the show have known for almost a year.

As Key told The Wrap, he and Jordan Peele decided they were ready to move into other things. According to the show's chief director Peter Atencio, they told Comedy Central of the decision as they were nearing the end of production on these current episodes. 

"Comedy Central simply did not want us to announce it," Atencio says. "They were in denial about it for a very long time, so we were frustrated that we couldn’t end the show our way. I think they finally made peace with the fact that there wasn’t going to be another season and let us spread the word so the last episodes could be a kind of send-off as we intended.

"The last episode in particular is very special to us," he adds. "It kind of represents what the show ended up being to all of us, and there’s a couple special segments in it."

When filming on the last sketch finished in November, Atencio says, "It was very emotional for everyone."

Atencio, Key, and Peele immediately moved on to making the movie "Keanu" together. But is there a chance they might revive the collaboration in its soon-to-be-concluded form?

"Going forward, we’d love to work with our crew again and make sketches," he says. "So whether that happens for Comedy Central or whoever, I wouldn’t rule that out in the long run. It’s honestly too much fun to not consider going back and doing more. But for now who knows what the future holds for any of us beyond 'Keanu.'"

Alan Sepinwall has been reviewing television since the mid-'90s, first for Tony Soprano's hometown paper, The Star-Ledger, and now for HitFix. His new book, "TV (The Book)" about the 100 greatest shows of all time, is available now. He can be reached at