“Ray Donovan” won’t be returning for an expected eighth season, with news emerging Tuesday that Showtime has opted to cancel the Liev Schreiber-starring series.
The dark drama, about a conflicted “fixer” who does whatever it takes to eradicate problems for wealthy clients, was expected to return for an eighth and final season, but it’s been confirmed that the recent season finale was actually the last-ever episode.
“After seven incredible seasons, ‘Ray Donovan’ has concluded its run on Showtime,” the network said in a statement, as reported by Deadline. “We are proud that the series ended amid such strong viewership and on such a powerful note. Our deepest thanks go to Liev Schreiber, Jon Voight, showrunner David Hollander and the entire cast and crew, past and present, for their dedicated work.”
Showtime co-president of entertainment Gary Levine appeared at the Television Critics Association press tour in January, where he admitted the show was “nearing the end of its run,” saying at the time that the network would be making a decision about the show’s future “in the next few weeks.”
“We always talked about seven or eight seasons,” Levine told Deadline in January. “Nothing has been decided yet but it’s fair to say it is nearing the end.”
The day after Showtime’s announcement, “Ray Donovan” showrunner David Hollander spoke with Vulture about the cancellation, admitting the cancellation took him by surprise.
“We’re still scratching our heads. We had no indicator that the show was ending,” Hollander admitted. “We were behaving creatively as though we were in mid-sentence. And so, there was no sense that this was going to be a completion. This was in no way a series finale.”
After wondering if the recent CBS/Viacom merger may have had something to do with the decision, Hollander told Vulture he was given no warning that cancellation was “even remotely” an option, revealing the eighth season was going to be the swan song.
“We were used to being a show that was not canceled. We never thought we would be canceled,” he explained.
As for whether “Ray Donovan” could be revived by one of the numerous streaming services looking for content, Hollander knows it would be an uphill battle if things were to drag on.
“I would never say never,” he says. “It is much easier to do in the now. The sets are still standing. The people are still contracted. The mechanisms are in place. Once we tear down the sets and put the costumes away… it’s a lot of actors who are in demand.”
Schreiber hinted that the show may have been on shaky ground in an Instagram post he issued on Jan. 21, shortly after the season seven finale aired.
At the time, he admitted an eighth season was “in the network’s hands,” and encouraged fans of the show to tell Showtime if they want to see an eighth season. “Either way it’s been an amazing ride and we have all of you to thank for it,” he wrote.
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What an amazing journey it’s been. I’ve been reading your comments, and the outpouring of love and support for our cast and crew has been truly overwhelming. I know the big question on everyone’s mind is whether there will be a season 8. Truth is it’s in the networks hands. So if you want more, reach out to them at @showtime, @raydonovan, and @cbstv and let them know how you feel. Either way it’s been an amazing ride and we have all of you to thank for it. xo Liev