“We had no indicator that the show was ending,” executive producer David Hollander said in an interview Wednesday with Vulture. “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.”
Hollander went on to say that the drama about a professional fixer, played by Liev Schreiber, had never before “even remotely” been in danger of not getting picked up for another season: “We were used to being a show that was not cancelled. We never thought we would be cancelled.”
On Tuesday, the premium cabler chose not bring the drama back for Season 8. That move means that the Season 7 finale, in which Ray’s family was in turmoil, is now Ray Donovan‘s loose ends-filled series finale. (Check out the gallery at right for all of questions that will never get answered.)
“After seven incredible seasons, Ray Donovan has concluded its run on Showtime,” Showtime said in a statement to TVLine Tuesday. “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.”
With its recently wrapped seventh season, Ray Donovan averaged 932,000 total viewers (in Live+Same Day), down just 3 percent from Season 6. In the demo, though, it was pulling just half (a 0.13 rating) of what it did in Season 5.
Hollander added that the cast’s responses to the cancellation “run the gamut from people being sad and grateful to anger and confusion” and that Season 8 — which was intended to be the final season — would’ve showcased the backstory of Ray’s family by bringing into the present to “run it concurrently.
“So there were actually two stories to be told: What happened then, really, and how will that impact what happens now? The next step was what happened with Ray and Mickey in the ’90s, which would have been the creation of Ray Donovan as a character and as a fixer.”
Showtime declined to comment on Hollander’s interview.
What do you think of Hollander’s shock, sorrow and plans for Season 8? Sound off in the comments!