Not every story has an end, and fans of Masters of Sex will have to find a way to accept that fact after Showtime opted not to pick up the Michael Sheen series for a fifth season.
The news comes well after not only production had finished on the fourth season, but two weeks after all the episodes of that season aired, according to Deadline. That means the episode “The Eyes of God” will have to do as a conclusion.
The premium cable channel shared the news in a statement.
“Masters of Sex was a beautifully written and acted exploration of America’s changing sexual mores. We are incredibly proud to have shared the story of Masters and Johnson for four critically acclaimed seasons.
The series will remain available across our platforms where new viewers can discover it for years to come.”
Masters of Sex starred Sheen, a Welsh stage actor probably best known to audiences for his role as Tony Blair in 2006’s The Queen. However, he also portrayed the former British prime minister in two other productions as well – The Deal in 2003 and The Special Relationship in 2010.
In the series, Sheen played sexual researcher Dr. William Masters, who really did pioneer treatment of sexual dysfunctions beginning in the late 1950s.
Masters of Sex also starred Lizzy Caplan as Virginia Johnson, his assistant to whom Masters would later fall in love with and marry. For those who want to know what happened after their wedding in what is now the series finale, the two married in 1971, but would divorce in 1991.
Masters died of Parkinson’s disease in 2001, while Johnson died just before the series debuted in 2013.
While life as a married couple going into the 1970s might be fun to explore – especially one that would ultimately end in divorce – Deadline reporter Nellie Andreeva said she heard Showtime executives felt the wedding in the finale “was a fitting conclusion to the duo’s complicated story, and decided not to go forward with another season.”
Masters of Sex earned 11 Emmy nominations during its run, winning just one: Allison Janney in 2014 for her guest role work on the series. The show will still be eligible for more nominations covering its fourth season in the next Emmy cycle as well.
The series also was nominated for two Golden Globes, one for best series, the other for Sheen on his acting. Caplan also was recognized for her acting with an Emmy nomination in 2014.
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