‘Grimm’ succeeded where countless other shows failed: Friday nights on NBC. It’s a night (and a network) that has doomed shows from ‘Constantine‘ to ‘Dracula‘, but ‘Grimm’ managed to beat the odds. The series not only survived, but thrived for the past five years on a network with a reputation for canceling cult shows that rivals that of Fox, and it did so on a night traditionally thought of a graveyard for, well, pretty much any show, but especially for genre programming.
But all that is changing. As we learned several months ago, the show’s episode order was cut roughly in half, from twenty-two down to thirteen sometime after it was renewed for its upcoming sixth season. On top of that, the sixth season was pushed back from the fall start date to a midseason premiere in January. Fans were understandably concerned, and their worst fears were confirmed when the series’ cancellation was officially announced some months later.
And yet the show’s producers seem surprisingly at ease with this. Why’s that? After all, they show that they’ve put years of work into is coming to an end! Well, showrunner James Kouf was asked that very question, and his response is about as straightforward as these things get:
“You know, 123 times through the fairy-tale world, and you start getting a little slim.”
That’s reasonable, albeit a bit of a downer. After all, it’s hardly a secret that many shows start to get stale around this point in their run for exactly that reason: Longtime writers have told the stories they want to tell, and either stay on board with diminishing returns or hand over the reins to others, whose approach may not resonate as well with the fanbase. In fact, it’s a suggestion some have advanced for the enduring popularity of shorter lived shows like ‘Firefly’, that it wasn’t just that they were good shows to begin with, but also that they ended their runs before the writers may have begun to burn out in the course of a longer run. Kouf and David Greenwalt further alluded to this when remarking on the sixth season’s reduced episode order, a cut which seems to have come as something of a relief to the co-creators:
“There was a chance that we would have gotten 22 [episodes this season], and we were going, “Oh my God. That’s a long trek.” We did that for five years.”
While this may all be getting a bit grim for fans of the long running series, viewers can at least take heart in the fact that the writers know the end is coming, and are thus able to wrap up the story (more or less) on their own terms. Better that than yet another beloved series that gets abruptly axed or rushes its conclusion after a midseason cancellation, right?
‘Grimm’ will return for its sixth and final season on Friday, January 6, 2017 at 8pm eastern time on NBC, beginning a final run of thirteen episode. The series stars David Giuntoli, Russel Hornsby, Silas Weir Mitchell, Bitsie Tulloch, Reggie Lee, Sasha Roiz, Bree Turner, Claire Coffee, and Chris McKenna.