Ever since it became one of the best places for original programming on television, HBO has been a network carefully balancing ratings smashes with prestige hits. For every Sex and the City, we’ve had a The Wire, for every True Blood an Enlightened, and so on. Now, in the age of Game of Thrones, the network has series like Girls. The comedy series frequently receives fewer than one million live viewers, but it’s made creator Lena Dunham into an icon, and supporting cast members like Adam Driver into stars.
We’re just weeks away from the premiere of the show’s fifth season, and in the months leading up to its release speculation has swirled around the show’s future, fueled in part by Dunham discussing the possibility that the show would only cover the titular girls as they lived out their 20s (Dunham is 29). Yesterday, unconfirmed reports of the show ending with its sixth season hit the web, and now those reports are confirmed: 2017 will see the end of Girls.
HBO’s President of Programming, Michael Lombardo, announced the news Wednesday at the Television Critics Assocation Winter Press Tour, and Dunham later added her own announcement via an HBO press release.
“I can’t imagine a more fulfilling creative experience than Girls,” says Dunham. “The freedom and support that HBO has given Jenni, Judd and me is something rare and beautiful. The commitment and originality of our actors has been stunning, and our crew is truly my family. I conceived of Girls when I was 23 and now I’m nearly 30 — the show has quite perfectly spanned my 20s, the period of time that it’s about — and so it feels like the right time to wrap our story up. We look forward to creating a sixth season that will honor our amazing cast, crew and fans. And in the Girls universe, nothing ever ends too neatly.”
So, if the series keeps up its usual schedule, we’ll probably be watching the series finale in the spring of 2017, and we’ll find out if Hannah, Marnie, Jessa, and Shosh get the happy endings they’re after. I doubt it, though.
Girls returns February 21.