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.

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  1. Emily says:

    Four episodes? I didn’t even know they gave orders that short.

    • Michael says:

      It’s more like 8 episodes. 4 Hour long episodes=8 half hour episodes. I’ve always thought that The Big C would have worked better as an hour long show anyway. Plus, they were running out of ideas. I enjoyed the first two seasons immensely but the third season faltered a bit.

      • Emily says:

        Ah, I missed that detail. 8 sounds more like it.

        • Michael says:

          I agree. I think I’ll prefer the Big C in extended doses. The 22 minute episodes always seem so short.

      • Dan says:

        They weren’t “running out of ideas”. They were following a natural progression of denial, anger, acceptance, etc… each season … I think its insane how people don’t see that and trash the show so badly. You trash it so much, so LOUDLY… we lose it. We have what, 5 stages of grieving? We’re going to get the 4th and 5th crammed together into the final season :< … we should've gotten 2 more seasons.

        • Michael says:

          So what if they are following a “natural progression”? That doesn’t mean that they were doing it well. I didn’t like the third season. I have an opinion and I voiced it…there was nothing loud about it and I didn’t “trash” anything and I don’t claim to represent any viewer but myself. We didn’t lose the show because I trashed it. We lost the show because people stopped watching it. So deal with the fact that we don’t share the same opinion of season 3 or eff off. I’m not particularly concerned which one you choose to do.

          • B says:

            Agreed…the natural progression is fine, a clever idea even. But this past season was just boring. I hated the Susan Sarandon character and Paul’s role in that plot line as well. I think season 3 looked especially bad after how GREAT season 2 was.

          • Kick Marolac says:

            Chill out Michael, no one’s gonna take your Teddy Bear.

        • Erika says:

          The 4 seasons makes sense because each season of the show was depicting a different season of the year, so the four tv seasons will make up the one year of her life.

  2. Solitaire says:

    ..four episodes? That’s *really* short.

    Let’s hope it’ll be better than S3 (though I don’t see that happening any time soon).

  3. So they canceled it, just decided to give it proper finale… Good enough for me

    • Michael says:

      Very few networks would have given the show the same consideration, so I’ll give them props as well. Respect for the fans is rare when the ratings aren’t strong.

    • Tommy says:

      I agree with you!

      I’ve been a big fan of “The Big C” since the very first episode, but last season it was obvious that they were stalling and 80% of the season felt like filler. I’m really respect the network for letting the show run it’s course (as it was always intended to run 4 seasons) and with the shorter episode order the writer’s can create a tight, satisfying conclusion.

  4. Sam says:

    Wow, that’s very short. I haven’t seen season 3 yet. I loved the first two but I had no desire to see it after they made a decision that lessened the impact of the season 2 finale… or so I’ve heard. I’ll still need to watch it and catch up with the final season. Does the finale air this September or next years? Cause that’s a whole long time to wait for four episodes…

    • Michael says:

      Agreed. Without spoiling anything for anyone who hasn’t seen season 2, I would have been happy had they made another decision regarding Paul’s fate.

  5. tvaddict says:

    At least they are letting them wrap it up. We don’t have showtime anymore so I haven’t watched season 3 but I really enjoyed seasons 1 & 2. Laura Linney is awesome as always

  6. I think this is good in the long run. I didn’t think the show should run that long anyway, because it would be cheap for her to be better by the end of every season.

    So this is definitely a good move and it’ll give us some nice closure.

  7. Nate says:

    Might it be considered a…miniseries? :-)

  8. M80 says:

    Isn’t it the Weeds finale airing on Sept. 16?

  9. Danielle says:

    I’m glad The Big C is being wrapped up. The show was awful this past season. I almost stopped watching about halfway through. Season 1 was the best.

    • Michael says:

      The finale of season 1, especially the scene where the son finds all the gifts in the locker, is one of the best half hours of TV I’ve ever seen

      • Danielle says:

        Agree. And Marlene was amazing. What happened to her caught me off guard and while I hated it, I was glad she popped up in Season 2. Also liked when Idris Elba (‘Lenny’) was on the show. ‘Sean’ has been consistently funny but even his humor fell off in Season 3. I’ll watch until the end however. It helps that Season 4 will only be 4 episodes. :)

        • Michael says:

          Yeah. I didn’t like Season 3 much but I’ve invested 3 years in the show and suspect that the final 4 eps will be good. I’m not going to quit now. I enjoyed Idris on the show but thought that his storyline ended too soon.

  10. Other places are reporting that The Big C was renewed for 4 “hour long” episodes, which would make a whole lot more sense. Someone didn’t check what they wrote before they published because the 2 part finale news is for Weeds.

  11. MJ says:

    I also thought this past season was horrible. I hope they can do something to bring it back from last season.

  12. Alisha says:

    Well, since the show is typically only 30 minutes long, four 1-hour episodes is really like 8 episodes of this show. So it’s not quite as short as it seems in context. I just hope they’re as well done as the first season was. It set a standard that the show hasn’t quite lived up to since.

  13. Steven says:

    She’s supposed to die. She has terminal cancer, “TERMINAL”- which means, SHE WILL DIE, the cancer WON’T GO AWAY!

    • Flo says:

      But they don’t have to show her death. I would much prefer if they left her alive, but knowing that death was in her imminent future.

  14. Rrrrrr says:

    I’m a really big fan of the way Showtime is running itself nowadays. First they gave Weesa notice before the season began production, so the writers had enough to to flesh out a good finale, and now they’re giving the Bug C just enough time to wrap it up, when lets be honest, the ratings were horrendous. It’s great. Also, Nurse Jackie was becoming a terrible show before the network stepped in, and this past fourth season was spectacular.

  15. Jake says:

    How are they gonna air on sept 16th?

  16. Hugo says:

    Good they gave the Big C a fourth and final season. And because 4 one hour episodes = 8 regular half hour episodes it seems it’s the right lenght to me. I hope in a good finale, I loved the first two seasons.

  17. Rick says:

    Hope in the finale she is romping in the dead zone with her two friends that already are there.

  18. Marni says:

    It’s my theory that she will either die in her pool or that the intro scene will actually happen during season four. Then again, maybe not, since they seem to have really gone off from the original show in season 3. Here’s hoping 4 is amazing again!

  19. Deb says:

    After 2 very good seasons (especially season 2 with Lee) I found season 3 actually ridiculous. I will finish it out now, but I have no idea where the last season came from. The “Paul” storyline was beyond words. Stupid comes to mind…

  20. kj says:

    Wow!!!! Let’s chill out and remember it is a TV SHOW….granted its great and I am a huge fan..but life is not over just because a series is!!