The acclaimed and often undervalued Starz pirate drama BLACK SAILS will make its final voyage in 2017. The network announced today that Season 4, which is set to debut next year, will be the last. The fourth and final season will consist of 10 episodes.
Sails was a prequel to Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic novel Treasure Island, following fictional characters like Flint, Long John Silver, and Billy Bones, among real-life figures such as Charles Vane, Anne Bonny, and Jack Rackham. The first season begins in 1715, roughly two decades before the events in Treasure Island. The show was hailed for its diversity, especially in regards to its female characters and LGBT representation, in ways that similar shows like Game of Thrones have struggled with.
Starring Toby Stephens as lead character Flint, the show averaged 3.6 million viewers for its first three seasons. It received various nominations at the 66th Annual Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards, winning Outstanding Special Visual Effects in a Supporting Role and Outstanding Sound Editing for a Series. It was co-created by Jonathan E. Steinberg and Robert Levine, who also produced alongside Michael Bay.
Steinberg praised the creative freedom Starz gave to them and commented on ending the series: “While it was a difficult decision for us to make this season our last, we simply couldn’t imagine anything beyond it that would make for a better ending to the story nor a more natural handoff to Treasure Island.”
Recently, Starz has shifted from Saturdays to Sundays in terms of its programming to try and compete with HBO and Showtime. Its original series slate consists of Outlander, Blunt Talk, Ash vs. Evil Dead, The Missing, The One Percent, Survivor’s Remorse, and the upcoming American Gods series based on the Neil Gaiman novel.
Anya Crittenton | Associate Editor