BBC America’s breakout original scripted series Orphan Black is coming to and end.
The network announced on Thursday that they have picked up the critically acclaimed genre series starring Tatiana Maslany for a ten episode fifth and final season, which is eyed for a 2017 premiere.
“Orphan Black is a thrilling, genre-bending ride that has captured our fans’ imaginations and hearts like no other show. Our genius team of actors, writers and producers have, time after time, taken us to a place of awe, delight and utter shock and surprise”, said Sarah Barnett, President of BBC America. “We can’t wait to take our incredibly passionate audience on one final gobsmacking clone adventure.”
Originally commissioned by Canadian broadcaster Space before BBC America came on-board as a co-producer and the U.S. broadcast partner, Orphan Black stars Tatiana Maslany as several identical clone sisters. The drama series is produced by Temple Street Productions, with Ivan Schneeberg, David Fortier, Kerry Appleyard, Graeme Manson and John Fawcett serving as executive producers.
“We are excited to deliver an epic conclusion to the tale of Sarah and her clone sisters”, said co-creators John Fawcett and Graeme Manson. “The past four seasons have been a phenomenal adventure and we are eternally grateful to our loyal fans who have loved the twists and thrills of our weird little show. We are thankful to our partners at Temple Street, Space and BBC America for their support, and giving us the opportunity to end on a high.”
The decision to bring Orphan Black to an end is something of a loss for BBC America. While there were original scripted series on the network before it, most notably Copper, Orphan Black was the first to really catch on with audiences and critics. BBC America has another original series in the pipeline in the form of Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency; and they continue to produce a wealth of British dramas, main from the BBC.
Orphan Black initially aired in the UK on BBC Three, who acquired the series in 2013 in a deal with sister company BBC Worldwide. But following the decision to move the channel online, BBC Three execs quietly dumped all of their scripted acquisitions – including Orphan Black, Wilfred and Parks & Recreation. Netflix UK has since acquired the UK rights to the show and streams new episodes within 24 hours of their broadcast in North America.