Netflix’s penchant for canceling popular shows has struck again: the final episodes of Grace and Frankie appeared on the streaming platform in late April 2022. The series ran for seven seasons, which is rare for a Netflix series – few make it past the season four mark.
“We did 94 [episodes], which these days is like the equivalent of 300,” Howard J. Morris, the show’s co-creator, told Vanity Fair. The Netflix summary reads:
“A history-making 94 episodes later, Grace and Frankie continue to show themselves, their families, and their fans what it means to live life to the fullest, fearlessly and unapologetically.”
Grace and Frankie is over, but the creators are working on a spin-off
Grace and Frankie as we know it is over. After Netflix confirmed the show’s completion after seven seasons, Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda, the show’s stars, released a statement thanking people for their support. The statement read:
“We are both delighted and heartbroken that Grace & Frankie will be back for its seventh, though final, season. We’ll miss these two old gals, Grace and Frankie, as much as many of their fans will, but we’ll still be around. We’ve outlasted so many things – just hope we don’t outlast the planet.”
The series had quite a satisfying ending, with Frankie outliving a medium’s prediction that she would die within three months. Marta Kauffman, the show’s co-creator, said that death was never on the cards. “Frankie and Grace wouldn’t die,” she said.
“We had to figure out how to end a show satisfyingly that’s about beginnings,” Howard J. Morris said. “You want to feel like something happened that made it feel like an ending, but also don’t want to sell out the show and have some horrible thing happen.”
Howard and Kauffman nailed the ending, but the former isn’t done yet. He and June Diane Raphael have created a Grace and Frankie spin-off that would follow Brianna, Grace and Robert’s daughter.
It’s up to Netflix to approve or kill the idea. “We love the characters,” Morris said, “and if there’s a chance that they could go on, then we’d be open to exploring it. But a million things have to come together.”
We may never see another series focusing on older women’s experiences, Marta Kauffman told Deadline in April 2022. She told the outlet that it would be challenging to sell the idea today. It makes sense then that the potential spin-off will follow a younger woman.
“Everybody is looking for, what are they calling it? Comedy forward, no sad-coms,” she said. “When we started Grace and Frankie, we were really trying to walk a line between drama and comedy. They don’t want that right now.”
Netflix unilaterally decided to cancel Grace and Frankie after seven seasons
Marta Kauffman told The Los Angeles time that Netflix decided to cancel Grace and Frankie after season seven. She said the showrunners were ‘really lucky’ to get a seventh season from the streaming platform.
“I think when we started we imagined seven seasons,” Kauffman said. “But, really, this is the kind of decision that comes from Netflix. But as sad as I am that it’s ending, there’s something that makes sense about it.”
Kauffman feels that the show’s creators told the stories they wanted to tell, and she has no regrets about the show’s run and conclusion. She told Deadline:
“It’s been everything from talking about dry vaginas to vibrators to how hard it is to get off a toilet. We had an episode with penis balloons. These are things I’m not sure I would’ve been able to do on a broadcast network.”
Netflix’s seemingly indiscriminate cancellation of shows has drawn ire from fans who invest in a series only for the streaming service to abandon it. Jeff Greenfield, the Chief Attribution Officer at C3 Metrics, told Forbes that the market’s oversaturation with quality options forces Netflix to cancel shows like Gracie and Frankie.
“The explosion of quality content is leading to massive consumer confusion on what to watch,” he said. “Digital used to be about content curation; today it’s about content confusion and Grace and Frankie’s demise is the paradox of choice come to life.”
Marta said that the series had a perfect and emotional ending
Marta Kauffman had no regrets about Grace and Frankie ending, but it didn’t make the goodbyes any easier. “The last scene we shot was with Jane and Lily in Frankie’s studio, which was perfect, to end with the two of them,” she told Variety.
The cast and crew exchanged gifts, and people gave speeches. “It was just heart-wrenching and incredibly bittersweet,” she continued. “But we’re really proud of what we did and we’re really proud of 94 episodes. We’re especially proud of what a wonderful group was formed through the course of these years.”
Grace and Frankie might be over, but James Fonda and Lily Tomlin aren’t. They are set to play best friends again in an upcoming film dubbed Moving On – a production seemingly plucked straight from the Grace and Frankie universe, per The Hollywood Reporter.
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