It was one of Showtime’s key shows and yet when its third season finale wrapped with the words ‘The End’ the other month, fans were caught off guard. Was this truly the end of a show which still had so much potential?
At the time Showtime quickly confirmed “Penny Dreadful” was over. Yesterday, Showtime president Gary Levine spoke at the Television Critics Association press tour to CinemaBlend about why the decision was made. He continues to stick to his earlier comments this year that this was always what was planned:
“We could have announced it [was the final season] before the final season, and we decided not to… In [John Logan’s] mind it was always three and out. From early on, we were trying to keep it open for possibility of more, but it became clear that trying to continue the show past the life of Vanessa Ives would be a lesser-ment. And John didn’t really want to continue beyond that character. The death of Vanessa Ives was plotted, and in John’s mind he slowly came around to the idea that for him there wasn’t [a show beyond that]. We thought the series would lose its authenticity without them.”
So it was a case of not only losing the main star, but the showrunner and creator as well. The lack of an announcement is in contrast to most networks lately who’ve announced final seasons ahead of time to confirm to fans that the creators have had sufficient time to wrap up storylines without any potential conflicts.