The long-running sitcom Girlfriends surprised many by returning for its eighth season last fall. The CW series was renewed for a full season of 22 episodes but, because of the writers strike, only 13 of those were completed. Now that the strike is coming to an end, the network is changing their plans. Would it have been better if the show had closed at the end of year seven?
The CW network has decided against putting the seasoned sitcom back into production for the remaining eight episodes. On top of that, they’re not bringing it back for season nine. Are this week’s episodes the last we’ll see of Joan (Tracee Ellis Ross), Lynn (Persia White), Maya (Golden Brooks), and the rest? Does this mean the fans will be left hanging?
Admittedly, Girlfriends’ season eight ratings haven’t been very good overall but it is the second most-watched sitcom among African Americans (bested only by Girlfriends’ spin-off, The Game). In late 2007, series creator Mara Brock Akil said she was hoping for the best but suspected that there wouldn’t be a ninth year. As a result, she conceived a contingency plan on how to end the show. She teased, “I think fans will be very happy.” Does that mean that Joan would get married? Akil would only say, “when we finally feel like Joan is really OK, I do believe the show is over.”
Unfortunately, with the network now cutting season eight short, it looks like she won’t be able to put that plan into action.
Though nothing is set in stone just yet, the network is currently considering putting together a special one-hour retrospective to close out Girlfriends. It would be made up of clips from past episodes. Though that sounds nice, it wouldn’t offer any kind of closure for the beloved characters — hardly a fitting send-off for a sitcom’s that’s been on the air for eight seasons. We’ll keep you posted on how this one develops. Stay tuned!