Ray Donovan Star Says Surprise Cancellation Was "Hurtful and Confusing"

It's been two years since Showtime abruptly cancelled Ray Donovan after seven season, a cancellation that was especially shocking for not just fans, but cast and crew considering that Season 8 was already planned to be the final one for the series with showrunner David Hollander having a plan for how things would wrap up. While network did eventually announce a movie to wrap things up — that movie, Ray Donovan: The Movie, debuted on Showtime on Friday, January 14th — that unexpected cancellation has remained problematic and now series star Liev Schreiber is opening up about it. Speaking with TVLine, Schreiber said he still isn't sure why the show was cancelled before a planned final series.

"It was initially hurtful and confusing," Schreiber said. "By all accounts, it seemed like we were successful, both financially and creatively. It didn't make sense."

Schreiber went on to say that he's since come to understand that the then-impending ViacomCBS merger had a role in the cancellation, something that he called a "tricky transition" and acknowledged that Ray Donovan seemed like an obvious choice to cut because the show had only one more season to go "and it was going to be incredibly expensive for them." However, fans ultimately had the final say in wrapping up Ray Donovan. Last year, Showtime announced a two-hour movie to continue and close out the events of the television series.

"I had no idea we had that many fans, "Schreiber said. "There was a part of me that wanted to just walk away with my tail between my legs and just be done with it."

Instead of walking away, though, Schreiber returned to the project, reprising his role as well as co-writing the movie alongside Hollander, who also directed the film. And it may not exactly be the end of things overall. Showtime CEO David Nevins has hinted that the Ray Donovan movie could kickstart a potential franchise and while Schreiber said that this is the end for him, but like the ending of the movie itself, left things a little ambiguous.

"I've heard David say that," Schreiber said. "This is the end for me. For now."

Ray Donovan: The Movie is now airing on Showtime.

Have you seen Ray Donovan: The Movie? Were you upset when the series was cancelled in 2020? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section!