Showtime Renews The Big C For Extremely Short Fourth and Final Season -- Will Cathy Die?

Laura Linney The Big CShowtime has renewed The Big C for a limited fourth and final season of four one-hour episodes, network president David Nevins confirmed Monday at the Television Critics Association’s summer press tour in Beverly Hills.

Is it safe to assume the series will conclude with Laura Linney’s Cathy succumbing to her illness? “I wouldn’t assume anything about how its going to end,” Nevins warned. “They have a very interesting, novel and form-breaking way to handle where the show is going.”

No word on when the final run of episodes will air.

Other highlights from Showtime’s exec session at press tour…

Inside Comedy will return this fall with 10 all-new episodes. Guests will include Ben Stiller, Tina Fey, Judd Apatow, Will Ferrell and Albert Brooks.

• Ending Dexter after two more seasons remains “the likely scenario,” said Nevins. “But plans can always change. Everything has gotten rewired this [coming season] given that Deb has to deal with who her brother is. Everything changes… Every scene is fraught because you’re wondering what is she going to do. What does he think she’s going to do.”

• The Borgias, which is currently in production on Season 3, will “likely” conclude after a fourth season. Episodes is also on the verge of a renewal. “I’m expecting Episodes to come back,” said Nevins. “I think that show is irregular as opposed to some of your other shows… [And] we tend to be a little slower to get them on the air, but my intention is to keep going.”

• Weeds’ forthcoming series finale “answers a lot of questions,” Nevins teased.

• On the new Ron Howard pilot, Conquest, Nevins said, “It’s in the very early stages of development… I think there’s a very interesting show to be done that has genre elements, elements of supernatural and horror, really frightening, gruesome stuff about the encounter of these two cultures but in pre-modern time… It’s a very advanced civilization in a lot of ways. It’s a kind of a period show that no one has done, and I’m always looking for fresh territory. I think it’s loaded with potential.”

• Nevins said viewers will “understand the trajectory” of Homeland‘s second season by the end of the second episode.