Several weeks ago, it was announced that Merlin was renewed for a fourth season to debut in 2012 overseas. Though that’s good news for fans of the show, some have been concerned because the series was renewed for only 10 episodes versus the usual baker’s dozen. Does this mean that the show is coming to a close?
Merlin showrunner Julian Murphy tells SFX that the reduced episode order came down to finances. He said, “Merlin is an expensive show… and what we are not prepared to do is cut its budget or production values. The BBC has had a really tough [financial] hit.”
On the positive side, Murphy noted that, “We are now discussing the fifth series with the BBC, and I think [the 2011 break] potentially preserves the program for longer. There is [also] talk of specials [and other] ways we can fill in the gap, but these are tough times for British broadcasters.”
Merlin has been renewed for a third season here in the states and that will debut on Syfy on January 7, 2011. Murphy teased that fans can look forward to “three or four absolutely iconic moments” in the final episode of the third season.
He added, “The last two are very special episodes because probably there are more crucial moments from the legend in them than in any other… The changes that happen in [episodes] 12 and 13… set up the direction that series four is going in. You get a good glimpse of the future.”
Syfy hasn’t decided to pick up the fourth season of Merlin yet and will likely wait to see how well year three performs in the ratings.
What do you think? Would you like to see Merlin continue for a fifth season or end after four? How long can it go on? Any ideas about what could be done for a special?
Image courtesy BBC.