UnREAL has been officially cancelled, and its final season just received a surprise release on Hulu.
The Lifetime drama series' fourth season was finished filming before the third season aired, and the network struck a deal for the series to air on Hulu, with an eventual televised airing later. Instead of waiting a year, the streaming giant dropped the new season all at once on Monday.
it is unclear if the final season will ever properly air on Lifetime, but it is being pitched as the show's final home, with all four seasons of the show being available to stream.
The series was apparently a big hit on the service ahead of the acquisition. Hulu said in a release that viewers averaged three to four episodes during each viewing session. Most then consumed the full season within days.
"UnREAL has captivated audiences on Hulu since season one, so when this opportunity came to us, we knew we couldn't miss out," said Craig Erwich, Hulu's Senior Vice President of Content. "This is a unique way to both satisfy fans of the show, while also continuing to introduce it to new audiences."
A+E Studios, who produced the series, are fully in support of the rollout. They praised the show's creative direction for its final bow, which sees former stars returning for an "all-star" format on the show's in-universe reality show, Everlasting.
"We love season four of UnREAL and its visionary creativity in bringing back many favorite characters for an all-star competition,"A+E Studios' Barry Jossen said. "When the opportunity to partner with Hulu arose, we immediately saw the huge benefit to UnREAL's loyal fans, as well as a unique way of recruiting first-time viewers to this ground-breaking series. UnREAL has been an incredible ride filled with awards, critical recognition, committed fans and, best of all, insightful cultural dialogue throughout its run."
He added, "We expect season four to deliver another great round of cultural influence with its timely themes."
As for what the stars of the show think, the release is bittersweet. However, Constance Zimmer appreciated the companies' thought to put fans wants first.
"My first reaction was, 'Oh my God, that's the most amazing news I've ever heard!'" Zimmer told Entertainment Weekly. "We were so worried that everyone was going to have to wait another year to see season 4, which just feels so cruel. But then I was a little sad because, you know, this has been Lifetime's baby, and I feel like we had such a great run. It would've been nice to see it end there, but I get it, and I appreciate that what they were more concerned about were the fans."
All four seasons of UnREAL are now streaming on Hulu.
Photo Credit: Hulu / Bettina Strauss