From Veep to House of Cards: what to expect from TV shows ending in 2018

Its a big year of small-screen goodbyes but what do fans want to see from the final episodes of their favorite shows?

There is something strangely apropos about the group of shows that will be ending in 2018. Along with beloved comedies like Portlandia, Nashville and New Girl, series like Veep, The Americans, Scandal and House of Cards all of which involve the goings-on of the political caste and have, at some point or another, drawn comparisons to the current administration will debut their final seasons this year, at a cultural moment when the fecklessness of Selina Meyer and the dealings of Russian counterintelligence groups no longer defy imagination.

That the Trump administration contains echoes of both Veep and House of Cards is now an old adage, but both were some of the most zeitgeist-y shows of the era of Peak TV, and their departures leave a void. So, here are eight of the series concluding in 2018, some that are ending too soon and others well past expiration, and what to expect from their curtain calls.

Veep

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Julia Louis-Dreyfus as Selina Meyer in a still from Veep. Photograph: Colleen Hayes/AP

Veep, whose star Julia Louis-Dreyfus has swept the last six Emmy awards for best actress in a comedy, will bow out with its seventh season, after its anti-heroine Meyer went from vice-president to president to, in hilariously tragic fashion, private citizen. While production on the last season was halted due to Louis-Dreyfus breast cancer diagnosis, its expected to return sometime in the spring, under the auspices of David Mandel, who took over the show when creator Armando Iannucci departed after its fourth season.

What exactly do we want from the final season of one of the best comedies of the last decade? It seemed for a moment that Selina was done chasing after the Oval Office, having found a morsel of closure in her one-year presidency; but the season six finale suggested otherwise, as Selina announced her desire to run for a fourth time. That sets things up for a political showdown between former president Meyer and that plus-sized homunculus congressman Jonah Ryan: seeing the two face off, with current president Montez in the mix, too, would be a fitting finish for a series that in strange ways augured the election of tremendously stupid people to public office. Shes no longer the president running for president. Shes a person who used to be the president and is now running for president, but that never worked out too well, Mandel told Indiewire. It didnt work out for Teddy Roosevelt, and it has not worked out historically when one-term presidents have tried to run.

The Americans

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A still from season 5 of The Americans. Photograph: Matthias Clamer/FX

Critical darling The Americans, FXs cold war period drama following two married KGB sleeper agents played by Matthew Rhys and Keri Russell, will begin its 10-episode sixth and final season in March, wrapping up a run thats set to be remembered squarely in the canon of this decades television dramas. The fifth season was not as well-received as the four that came before it, but as this tale of Reagan-era paranoia comes full circle, you can expect showrunner Joe Weisberg, a former CIA officer himself, to pull off the finale.

In the shows timeline, 1985, the year Mikhail Gorbachev became the leader of the Soviet Union, is just around the bend. The show will inevitably grapple with what the political sea change back home means for Philip and Elizabeth, who at the end of season five elected to remain in the States rather than return to Russia. Season six will also expand on the story of their daughter Paige, who as she gets older is beginning to understand more about her parents extraordinary line of work.

Showrunners Weisberg and Joel Fields told Deadline the series conclusion has been etched in stone for years now: Our stories sometimes change a lot, we write pretty far ahead and well have ideas written down in pretty extensive thoughtful form earlier on and then some will stay with us. The ending itself has stuck since the middle of season 2.

Scandal

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Bellamy Young as President Mellie Grant and Kerry Washington as Olivia Pope in Scandal. Photograph: Richard Cartwright/ABC

In how many more directions can Shonda Rhimes jerk us before Scandal ends with its seventh season? It would be unwise to guess, since the ABC drama regularly provides as many plot twists in an episode as some shows do in a season. The role of crisis-management guru Olivia Pope was made for Kerry Washington, who through six seasons has done a real high-wire act of melodrama, weathering death, lies, affairs, national emergencies and, well, scandals. Shell begin the final season as President Mellie Grants chief of staff, but it would be foolish to guess where shell end up. All we know, at least from hints dropped by Rhimes, is that season 7 will hold nothing back. So, next year we are going all out. Leaving nothing on the table. Creating this world in celebration, Rhimes said in a press call. We are going to handle the end the way we like to handle the important things in our Scandal family: all together, white hats on, Gladiators running full speed over a cliff.

House of Cards

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Robin Wright as Claire Underwood in House of Cards. Photograph: David Giesbrecht / Netflix

House of Cards began filming its final season in October, before the revelations about Kevin Spaceys alleged history of sexual predation were made public. And so, in a bold and costly move, Netflix decided to scrap the two episodes that had been filmed, plus several other episodes that featured Frank Underwood and were already written, in favor of rejiggering the final season around his wife, President Claire Underwood, played by Robin Wright.

Although the wheels fell off House of Cards around season four or five, it was Netflixs first certified hit as a streaming service and helped popularize the idea of binge-TV. A Spacey-free finale season is not just the pragmatic move for House of Cards, but the right one, too: she didnt become president until the very end of season five, but Claire Underwood has long been the more interesting and watchable half of televisions most cunning couple. The powers-that-be at Netflix have been tight-lipped about the series finale, but chief content officer Ted Sarandos said he hoped season six would provide some closure to the show for fans.

Portlandia

One of the great sketch-comedy shows of the past decade or so, Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownsteins Portlandia, a Peabody Award winner in 2012, will air its eighth and final season beginning in January. Somehow, this show has yet to run out of ways to lampoon Portlands hipster culture: remember The Deuce hotel, where each room comes with a complimentary turntable? From season ones Put a Bird on It sketch to the great Did You Read It?, where Fred and Carrie play spitfire with their knowledge of recent New Yorker and McSweeneys articles, the shows satire is shrewd and often absurd, and will be hard to replace once its gone.

With a sketch-comedy show, theres a bit less riding on a season finale than with traditional episodic television, so Armisens said he and Brownstein are not planning to make any big final statements with season 8. We tried to keep it like a sketch show and comedy, just because people watch it out of order. Our main goal is to keep it funny and entertaining and relevant, we stuck to that.

Nashville

Through six seasons, the last of which premiered this January, Nashville has acquired something of a cult following, which helped salvage the show after ABC cancelled it in 2016. Afterwards, CMT picked it up for seasons five and six, with new producers at the helm and a revived fanbase. Part musical, part soap-opera, Nashville, which follows country music singer Juliette Barnes, played by Hayden Panettiere, is a fun jaunt, a countrified take on the high camp of Glee. And even though Connie Brittons Rayna James the former queen of country and rival of Barnes was killed off in season five, the show has just enough oxygen left to croon for one more season. After fans helped give the show new life, executive producer Marshall Herskovitz told Deadline we want to return the favor with a final season that celebrates all the joys and passions, twists and turns and amazing music! that made Nashville such an exciting journey for the last six years.

New Girl

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Zooey Deschanel stars as Jess in New Girl. Photograph: Fox

Following a three-year time-jump, the Fox sitcom New Girl (which, like The Big Bang Theory, feels like its been on air for a decade) will kick off its final installment in April after creator Liz Meriwether made a last-second push for an eight-episode seventh season. Im so passionate about this show. Its been my life for seven years. I did feel really good about the end of season six, but I really wanted a chance to say goodbye to the show with a final season, Meriwether told Entertainment Tonight.

Starring Zooey Deschanel as the peppy teacher Jess, New Girl finished season six with a classic romcom flourish, Jess and Nick (Jake Johnson) playing revolving elevators to the tune of Lordes Green Light before the latter professes his love. Since the show so fittingly ended things for its central couple in what was thought to be a series finale, theres reason to believe theyll pull it off again in season seven, not just for Nick and Jess, but for Cece and Schmidt too.

Love

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Paul Rust as Gus and Gillian Jacobs as Mickey in Love. Photograph: Suzanne Hanover/Netflix

Judd Apatows Netflix romcom will bow out after its third season, which is set to premiere on the streaming service in early March. This show can be a charmer, exploring relationships through its prickly but endearing leads Mickey, played by Gillian Jacobs, and Gus, played by Paul Rust. After a great first season, Love lost a lot of steam in season two and, as its two leads finally got together, failed to keep pace with snappier, more progressive shows that explore the ups-and-downs of millennial courtship. Love doesnt exactly reinvent the genre its female lead is the typical wild child, her counterpart an affable nerd but it still contains threads of truth among its many contrivances. Speaking about season three, Apatow said, its our sweetest, funniest season and ends our story in a beautiful way, so hopefully Love will get back to its season one heights.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2018/jan/08/veep-house-of-cards-tv-shows-ending-in-2018

Julia Louis-Dreyfus shares breast cancer diagnosis

The star of Seinfeld and Veep tweeted a note to praise her glorious support network and fantastic insurance but added that not many women were so lucky

Julia Louis-Dreyfus has revealed that she has been diagnosed with breast cancer.

The Emmy-winning star of Seinfeld and Veep shared a note on Twitter on Thursday to inform her followers while also reminding them of the importance of universal healthcare.

The good news is that I have the most glorious group of supportive and caring family and friends, and fantastic insurance through my union, she wrote. The bad news is that not all women are so lucky, so lets fight all cancers and make universal health care a reality.

The 56-year-old has received support on Twitter from fellow actors Sarah Silverman, Debra Messing, Veep star Tony Hale, Christina Applegate and Michael McKean. According to a statement from HBO, she received the news the day after she won her record-breaking sixth Emmy for playing the lead in HBOs hit comedy Veep. The show is set to finish at the end of next season. That decision was not influenced by the diagnosis.

Our love and support go out to Julia and her family at this time, a statement from HBO reads. We have every confidence she will get through this with her usual tenacity and undaunted spirit, and look forward to her return to health and to HBO for the final season ofVeep.

Louis-Dreyfuss plea for universal healthcare comes after other political statements criticizing the decisions being made by the Republican party. My father fled religious persecution in Nazi-occupied France, Dreyfus said at the SAG awards earlier this tear. Im an American patriot, and I love this country. Because I love this country, I am horrified by its blemishes, and this immigrant ban is a blemish and its un-American.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/culture/2017/sep/28/julia-louis-dreyfus-breast-cancer-diagnosis

Leather vests at the ready! The L Word is coming back

Soapy, sexy and ridiculously fun, the groundbreaking LGBT drama is getting a reboot but how will Shane, Bette and the camp-trashy gang fare in the age of online dating and Trump?

When The L Word first appeared in 2004, it was entirely new and different. LGBT stories on television had mostly been subplots up to this point, hungrily consumed by an audience of people desperate for any scraps of representation, but The L Word was all about them. It took what Queer As Folk did for gay men in Manchester and applied it to absurdly glamorous women in Los Angeles. It was soapy, explicit, entertaining and, at times, as infuriating as the season-two-onwards theme tune. By the time it saw out its sixth and final season in 2009, you got the sense it had reached the end of the line, having taken the bizarre decision to bump off Jenny and coast off into the sunset on a whodunnit plot.

However, 13 years after its debut, The L Word is ready to return. A sequel is in the works at Showtime, with original showrunner Ilene Chaiken (who has since been busy with Empire and The Handmaids Tale) back on board as an executive producer, along with original cast members Jennifer Beals (Bette), Katherine Moennig (Shane) and Leisha Hailey (Alice). The idea is that the three would appear in the reboot, and their characters would act as a connection to a new generation of women. Sort of like Saved By the Bell: the College Years, only with more conversations about whether its ok to sleep with all of your friends or not.

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The L Word took what Queer As Folk did for gay men in Manchester and applied it to absurdly glamorous women in Los Angeles. Photograph: Moviestore/REX/Shutterstock

Frankly, I cant wait. If anything, its cult status has only grown since it disappeared from the air. A friend recently had an L Word-themed dinner party, with fedoras on hand for those who had not managed to track down Bette-style shoulder pads or a Shane-esque leather vest. Its frequent diversions into shlockiness were greeted with eye rolls at the time, but theyve aged well; on rewatching, they seem camp-trashy rather than bad-trashy. Jennys short stories told in breathless voiceover and flashback, the entire season where they made a movie version of their own lives, the turf war between The Planet and She Bar all were preposterous and ridiculously fun. I hold a particular fondness for the part where Bette and Kit said a tearful farewell to their dying father, a moment cut with scenes of their friends watching Peaches perform a song about threesomes.

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Cult status and crimes against asymmetric hair The L Word. Photograph: Showtime/Everett/Rex Features

But an astonishing amount has changed in the last decade, and if it has any chance of seeming relevant or even revolutionary again, it has much to catch up on. In 2015, a YouGov poll suggested that the number of young Brits who identify as exclusively heterosexual is now just 46%. As Shane says in the very first episode of The L Word, sexuality is fluid; its just that now, more people are embracing that than ever before. Same-sex marriage is legal in many parts of the west, so there would be no more running off to Vermont to tie the knot. If these stories are more mainstream, how will The L Word stand out? Now that lesbian bars are all but extinct, has The Planet survived? If Bette thought the Christian right were bad when they picketed her art show, how will the women exist under the Trump administration? How is it going to incorporate apps, which have changed the dating landscape beyond recognition? (Perhaps in the sequel, Alices dot com dabbling will have turned The Chart into a hook-up money-maker.)

While ahead of its time, the show also covered plenty of issues in a perplexingly anachronistic way. Max, the trans character, was a clunky addition, and much of the dialogue around gender theres no mention of non-binary identification, for example seems like the product of an era very far away from now. Lothario Papi was a one-note stereotype; even fan-favourite Carmen was criticised for being a cliche (and despite playing Latina characters, neither actor was Latina). In many respects, this is why the prospect of a revival is promising: it couldnt possibly retread the same ground, not least because the majority of the cast would be arrested for crimes against asymmetrical hair.

Mind you, it could never be the same anyway. Some reports have cruelly suggested that we might see the return of tennis player Dana, who was unceremoniously killed off in season three by an aggressive form of breast cancer. Chaiken has recently expressed regret at that decision, but still, it would be tricky to bring her back, unless everything after season two was a dream. That would mean no Lez Girls, no Peggy Peabodys secret lesbian past, no chance to see the gravity-defying evolution of Shanes hair. Still, Dana or no Dana, Im thrilled we may get to see the old gang back together again.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2017/jul/12/the-l-word-is-coming-back-leather-vests-at-the-ready

Christina Grimmie: thousands say farewell to slain Voice singer

Emotional tributes paid to 22-year-old who was shot dead as she signed autographs after a show in Orlando, Florida

Thousands of friends and fans said farewell to The Voice singer Christina Grimmie at services in New Jersey on Friday.

Grimmies family received condolences for five hours before an emotional memorial service was held. The singers music was played and a large picture of her was displayed on an easel.

The 22-year-old was shot to death last week as she signed autographs after a show in Orlando, Florida. Her assailant fatally shot himself.

Among those present Friday night were Alissa and Joseph Canto. The husband and wife from outside Rochester, New York, said they drove seven hours to come to the services at Fellowship Alliance Chapel.

The couple, both 24, said theyve been fans since Grimmie launched her YouTube channel as a high school student.

We have been fans for years but we didnt know how much we appreciated her until she passed, Alissa Canto said.

Garret Lang of Pennsylvania attended the services with several other fans who called themselves Team Grimmie.

What I liked about her most was she didnt just treat her fans like fans, she treated them more special than fans, Lang told the Courier Post. She treated them like friends or like family members, even without knowing them.

Authorities said Grimmie was shot by Kevin Loibl the night of 10 June as she signed autographs after the Orlando show. A motive for the shooting has not been determined. Authorities said she had no personal connection to Loibl, who fatally shot himself after being tackled by her brother.

Grimmie was buried in a private ceremony Thursday.

Pop star Adam Levine, who mentored Grimmie when she finished third on The Voice, offered on Monday to pay for the funeral expenses.

Grimmie was a YouTube star who was widely known from her appearances on The Voice two years ago. She lived in Evesham, a small community about 20 miles from Philadelphia, before moving to Los Angeles in 2012.

Grimmie often cited her mothers ongoing battle with breast cancer as her musical inspiration, including during her first appearance on The Voice in 2014, where her mother cried in the wings at her rendition of Miley Cyruss Wrecking Ball.

Her killing was the first of three tragedies for Orlando in the last week. Early on Sunday, a massacre at gay nightclub Pulse left 49 dead in the worst mass shooting in modern US history. On Tuesday, a two-year-old Nebraska boy was attacked by an alligator and killed at Walt Disney World.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/jun/18/christina-grimmie-thousands-say-farewell-to-slain-voice-singer