"Big Love" did it, and now "Chuck" is set to follow their lead in announcing that its fifth season will be its last.
After passionate fan campaigns (much to Subway's joy), the show's managed to hang on year after year, which is impressive. Of course, a lot of its continuance likely stems from NBC's chronic failures and lack of good replacement programming, but that's another matter.
I'll admit that I haven't been following "Chuck" this season due to my work schedule, so I'm not going to pass too much judgment on season four. However, I also found myself bored with the first few episodes I did catch online, so it's not high on my television priority list. And, from what I hear from devoted fans, this season's been dull, and signs of strain are showing. It's inevitable with a show like this - there's only so many times Chuck can save Sarah (or vice versa), there's only so many back-and-forth, good-guy-or-bad-guy mysteries that can go on.
So, I'm glad the show will have its fifth season, but I'm also glad that it has an end date. This gives writers the opportunity to tie up loose ends and create and endgame for its characters. "Big Love" had the opportunity to do this, and while its final season wasn't perfect, it was a vast improvement over the previous season. Instead of loosely connected mysteries of the week that don't lead anywhere (entertaining as they may be), the writers can create a narrative like that of the engrossing season two, that leaves viewers satisfied and the show fulfilling its potential.
In other television news, if you're looking for other cancellations or renewals, TV Overmind offers guides to the current state of shows at ABC and NBC. At the network upfronts this week, we'll likely find out more about what shows are picked up at CBS and Fox.