Showtime to End 'Episodes'

Showtime Monday said it will end its Emmy-nominated comedy series Episodes after its upcoming fifth season.

The series, starring Matt LeBlanc playing a fictional version of himself, will launch a seven-episode fifth season premiering in 2017, said network officials. The series, created by David Crane and Jeffrey Klarik, has received 10 Primetime Emmy nominations over its first four seasons. Production begins in London next week; Klarik will direct the final seven episodes, Showtime said.

Episodes’ scathing portrait of network executives has kept me on my best behavior these last several years, for which I am grudgingly grateful to Jeffrey and David,” said Gary Levine, president of programming, Showtime Networks Inc. “I love this show and can’t wait to see what comic heights Matt and company will scale during the fifth and final season of our inspired series.”

Episodes also stars Stephen Mangan, Tamsin Greig, Mircea Monroe, Kathleen Rose Perkins and John Pankow. Here's the final season description: "Everyone is in the midst of their own personal hell -- if hell can have great weather, palm trees and more than one personal assistant. Matt LeBlanc is the host of The Box, a wildly successful game show. Unfortunately, the world seems to have forgotten he was ever an actor. Meanwhile, Sean (Mangan) and Beverly (Greig) are forced to work for Sean’s former partner Tim (Bruce Mackinnon), perhaps the worst show runner in the history of television. Carol (Perkins) is out of a job, out of money and possibly out of show business. And Merc (Pankow), a producer on The Box, never resists the opportunity to ruin Matt’s life."

R. Thomas Umstead

R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.