Jake Doyle had his private investigator’s licence revoked earlier this year in New York.
That’s where, says "Republic of Doyle" executive producer and star Allan Hawco, the show’s production team decided Season 6 will be its last.
“I’m kinda getting a bit emotional even talking about it. Today is the day that it’s kind of sinking in that it’s real,” said Hawco, speaking from Toronto, where the official announcement was made as part of CBC’s preview for its upcoming programming season.
“Since last year, we were in plans to wrap it up, just for a number of reasons. No. 1, we wanted to make sure we went out on a note that we weren’t over-extending our welcome, in terms of story.”
Season 5 was originally planned to be a shortened run of 10 episodes, said Hawco, as Season 6 will be. “But last year, CBC needed us to bulk up our order to 16 for content purposes,” he said. “Of course, I was going to do whatever was needed, so we did the 16, but it’s a lot of strenuous work in my world and I was kind of burning out. … It got to the point where we felt we’d explored as many of the possibilities as we could with these characters, at least in a series context. We didn’t want people to be looking at our show and thinking, ‘Wow, when is this show going to be over?’”
Early on, said Hawco, the production team felt five seasons would be ideal, but when the fifth season came around, they felt they had more story to tell.
Recent budget cuts at the CBC blamed on a loss of hockey revenue were “absolutely not” a factor in the decision, says Hawco, but he acknowledged CBC might not have ordered a seventh season had the show decided to continue.
“CBC has not told us that they don’t want to do 'Republic of Doyle' anymore,” he said. “Maybe that would be a problem in Season 7, but I didn’t want to wait around and see if that was the case.”
Hawco — along with Take the Shot Productions co-producers Rob Blackie, Perry Chafe and John Vatcher — were in New York for an annual end-of-season retreat earlier this year to plan for the upcoming sixth season.
“CBC hadn’t decided to order us for Season 6 yet, but we decided in that moment that if we went to a Season 6, that this would be our last,” said Hawco, who said the decision wasn’t made lightly, and he credited the work of the cast and crew, and the support of fans in Newfoundland and Labrador and across Canada, for the show’s successful run.
“It’s been the most glorious opportunity that I’ve ever had in my life. Professionally, it’s the most satisfying thing that I’ve ever touched, and I don’t regret a minute of it,” he said. “But you can only sprint for so long. Eventually you just run out of steam.”
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Season 6 final run for 'Republic of Doyle'
CBC is expected to announce later today that the next “Republic of Doyle” season will be its last.
Toronto-based television columnist Bill Brioux wrote on his blog today that the announcement will be made as part of CBC’s preview of the 2014-15 season, later today in Toronto. According to Brioux, Season 6 of the show will be 10 episodes, down from 16 in Season 5. Brioux says he confirmed the final season with Allan Hawco, the show’s executive producer and star, and said the show’s ratings had slipped against stiff competition on other networks after a move to Sunday nights last season, but still remained a strong draw for CBC.
Recent budget cuts at the CBC in the wake of a permanent loss of hockey revenue have the national broadcaster moving away from series like “Republic of Doyle,” suggests Brioux, who said Hawco and his production company will develop other projects to take advantage of the industry that has grown under the show.
More to come.