Canadian sitcom “Kim’s Convenience” is ending with its fifth season in April, a decision that upset actors and fans this week.
The award-winning show, which includes “Shang-Chi” actor Simu Liu, has been praised through the years for its depiction of a Korean family’s immigrant life in Toronto.
While network CBC has already greenlit a sixth season, producers are halting the show after co-creators Ins Choi and Kevin White decided to leave after Season 5.
The sitcom, based on Choi’s 2011 play of the same title, is produced by Ivan Fecan, who is co-executive producing with Alexandra Raffé, Sandra Cunningham, Choi and White.
“Authenticity of storytelling is at the center of the success of Kim’s Convenience. At the end of production on Season 5, our two co-creators confirmed they were moving on to other projects,” the producers said in a statement.
“Given their departure from the series, we have come to the difficult conclusion that we cannot deliver another season of the same heart and quality that has made the show so special. Kim’s Convenience has meant so much to our cast, writers, crew, and audiences around the world.”
The producers noted that Season 5 will be their finest despite restrictions and complications brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It’s been a privilege and a very great pleasure to work with the Kim’s family of gifted writers and performers for the last five years. Thank you to our fans for the love and support you’ve given this show,” they added.
In a social media post, Liu said he is “heartbroken” over the show’s premature farewell. He said the producers’ decision “almost never happens,” and that most believed the show could thrive without its co-creators.
“I know what you’re thinking and, to be clear, I was fully expecting to come back for our sixth season. In fact, I was probably more excited than I’ve ever been,” Liu, who plays Jung, wrote before going into storylines he expected.
“I feel we deserved better. I feel that you, our most amazing fans, deserved better,” he added.
Nonetheless, the actor recognized the show’s achievements and the fact that it helped launch the career of many actors of color, including himself. “Remember their names. Call their agents. CAST THEM IN EVERYTHING,” Liu urged.
Co-actors also celebrated their time with the series.
“It’s a bittersweet end to one of the greatest experiences of my life. I’m so proud of what we’ve done and want to reflect and thank those who made it possible,” Andrew Phung, who plays Kimchee, wrote on Twitter.
Jean Yoon, the show’s matriarch, recalled their “incredible” five seasons.
“Thanks and gratitude to all the incredible artists, crew, writers, producers and fans who have come together to tell this story and celebrate this family.”
Season 5 ends on April 13 at CBC.