The Crown is one of Netflix’s most expensive series, but that investment apparently paid off for the first two seasons of the show. However, the show went through an intended soft reboot of sorts in Season 3 when everyone was recast so that the characters could be older and the show could move into a new era. While we don’t know for sure (since Netflix doesn’t release numbers unless those numbers are favorable to them), it appears that viewership for Season 3 was lower than expected because Netflix has decided to end the show early. While The Crown was intended to run for six seasons, it will now only run for five.
Here’s the tweet from Netflix:
#TheCrown will return for a fifth and final season with Imelda Staunton playing The Queen.
Creator Peter Morgan originally planned six seasons but says: “Now that we have begun work on the stories for S5 it has become clear to me that this is the perfect time and place to stop.” pic.twitter.com/2RE6wHsMFB
— See What’s Next (@seewhatsnext) January 31, 2020
Perhaps Peter Morgan really does believe that Season 5 is all the space he needs to tell this story, but considering the amount of history this show covers, I doubt it. Season 3 was in no rush to get to the Charles/Camilla storyline and only really started to explore it in the final episodes. Season 4 will finally introduce Diana, but it remains to be seen how much of Charles and Diana’s relationship will take up the plot. Season 5 will clearly have another time jump if they’re casting Imelda Staunton as Queen Elizabeth (I was hoping that Morgan would reunite with Helen Mirren and she would reprise the role, but alas), but I’m curious to see how Morgan intends to wrap this up.
While I’m a bit bummed that The Crown is ending early, I’m glad we at least got this big, expensive, prestige drama that took a unique view on 20th century British history. It’s not a show for everyone, and it was never going to get everyone talking like Stranger Things, but that’s okay. It managed to find that perfect balance between the private and the public life of a famous figure, and I hope that Morgan sticks the land in the fifth and final season.