The Shield creator and executive producer Shawn Ryan had announced in May that he was unsure if he would be doing another season of the show that stars Michael Chiklis as tough cop Vic Mackey. After weeks of wondering, fans can now rest easy. There will actually be two new seasons of the gritty FX show. Well, sort of.
Ryan has confessed, “The writers and I weren’t quite ready to step away from these characters just yet. We asked FX for an additional 13 episodes to conclude the show properly and, as always, the network graciously let us do what we thought was best for the show.”
As a result, the ten Shield episodes that are currently in production, which many expected to be part of the current season (season five), will now be delayed until 2007 and called season six. Season five guest Forest Whitaker (as Internal Affairs detective Jon Kavanaugh) will appear in some of the season six episodes.
Then, production will begin on the final 13 Shield episodes (season seven) in the summer of 2007 and will be released presumably in late 2007/early 2008. The two final seasons will bring the episode count of the FX original and award-winning series to a total of 88.
Said FX president John Landgraf, “It has been the privilege of everyone at FX to work with Shawn Ryan, Michael Chiklis and their colleagues on The Shield. It has always been our intent to have the show exit television as it entered, as one of the best drama series ever. We’re thrilled Shawn has come up with a great way to end the series and that it will require one final season for his vision to reach completion.”
So, will that be the end of Mackey’s rule-breaking exploits? Could there be TV-movies? Hard to say. The series is FX’s first original series and has proven to be very popular, attracting a high-viewership (especially considering it’s only available to cable and satellite subscribers) as well as multiple award nominations and wins. With that in mind, I can’t help wondering if we might see Shield stories, in some form, for a long time to come.
Side note: For an interesting story on how Michael Chiklis got the role of Vic Mackey, click here.