We’ve suspected the bad news for months but now, it’s been confirmed that the Brotherhood series has indeed been cancelled by Showtime.
Brotherhood revolves around the lives of two brothers in an Irish-American neighborhood in Rhode Island. Tommy Caffee (Jason Clarke) is a family man and local politician while his brother Michael (Jason Isaacs) is a professional criminal who’s involved with the Irish mob. Others in the cast of this gritty drama include Kevin Chapman, Annabeth Gish, Fiona C. Erickson, Brian Scannell, Kerry O’Malley, Fionnula Flanagan, Madison Garland, Billy Smith, Frank Ridley, Matt Servitto, Ethan Embry, Brian F. O’Byrne, Tina Benko, and John Fiore.
The series debuted on Showtime on July 9, 2006 and, despite some very positive reviews, Brotherhood didn’t attract a lot of viewers; just 450,000. Showtime nevertheless renewed the show for a second season — albeit one made up of only 10 episodes. They started airing in September of 2007 and the premiere brought in just 370,000 viewers.
Brotherhood won a Peabody Award in 2007 and continued to garner critical attention. Situated behind Dexter, the show attracted its best ratings with 650,000 viewers on November 18, 2007. The pay-for-view cable channel continued to stand behind the show and renewed it for a third season.
Entertainment president Robert Greenblatt said, “Brotherhood is one of our shining hours at Showtime — a drama series that is among the highest-quality shows offered anywhere on television, and we’re proud to keep it firmly in our portfolio.” In November 2008, the season three debut attracted just 305,000 viewers.
Earlier this year, rumors started to circulate that Brotherhood wouldn’t be returning for a fourth season. Showtime execs wouldn’t say one way or the other and the actors, as well as viewers, were kept in the dark as to the show’s future.
In January, Greenblatt said, “It’s a show that we love, and we’re just trying to figure out what the future might be. We have a finite number of slots for shows, and we’re in that difficult place of trying to make that decision.”
Lost actress Flanagan told EOnline in February, “We’re on hiatus, and we’re waiting to hear what Showtime’s pleasure is about that. It will all have to be balanced with what else Showtime has on its roster for this next year. Usually the shooting season was the summer, so I should imagine that we’ll know soon.”
The show’s future began to look especially grim when Australian actor Clarke was cast in U.S. Attorney, a new drama series for CBS. Though the show was not picked up for Fall, it may end up on the network’s midseason schedule.
Now, the speculation about Brotherhood can finally be put to rest. Showtime and Paramount Home Entertainment have officially announced the DVD release of season three and the title is Brotherhood – The Final Season. Things don’t get any plainer than that. The set will be released on September 22nd and can be purchased now at a pre-release discount. (Please note, the title on Amazon hasn’t been properly updated as of this writing.)
Some have expressed that the third season finale gave closure to the series. Tommy became the speaker of the house and Michael left Providence once again. Do you agree, or are you just left wanting another visit to The Hill?
Image courtesy Showtime.