When the CW cancelled Girlfriends in February, fans were shocked and dismayed that the long-running sitcom would be left without a proper conclusion. The reason? Simple economics. After the completion of this season’s 16th episode, show production was shut down because of the writers strike. When the strike ended, the CW decided it didn’t make financial sense to resume the series and cancelled plans to film the season’s remaining nine episodes.
As a consolation, it was announced that the CW was considering a retrospective episode to close out the series. The characters’ storylines wouldn’t get any kind of resolution but at least the sitcom would have a series finale. Now, it looks like that’s not going to happen either.
BlackVoices has reported that the network asked the cast to appear in an episode in which they would introduce clips and reflect on their favorite episodes. The CW reportedly offered the actors half of their usual episodic salary to take part. The actors collectively turned them down.
Aside from being insulted by the reduced pay offer, the actors may also be upset that the CW won’t be paying them for the nine episodes that were ordered and later cancelled. It’s rumored that the actors want to sue the network for the episodes but it seems unlikely they’d have much luck. During the strike, networks and studios invoked a “force majeure” contract provision. The standard clause essentially allows them to cancel a contract if work cannot be performed due to an extraordinary event or circumstance — in this case, the writers strike.
Girlfriends creator Mara Brock Akil seems philosophical about the way the series closed out. She said, “Did I like the way it ended? No. Would I have liked it to have a proper ending? Of course. Unfortunately, this was one of those budget decisions. To put value into a show they knew wasn’t coming back when they were trying to keep life in others, I understand it. When the news came, I chose to focus on the blessings… Nobody wants to end this way. But after 172 episodes, we had a wonderful ride.” Stay tuned!