Black Sails to Raise the Black for Final Season

Black Sails: Season 4 (via Starz)

Starz has announced that their daring pirate series, Black Sails will come to an end after its upcoming fourth season. Co-creator and executive producer Jonathan E. Steinberg had this to say about closing out the series: “It’s a rare privilege in television to be given the kind of creative freedom we’ve enjoyed on this show over the last four years. 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.” Set twenty years before the events of Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic novel Treasure Island, the series chronicles the rise of Long John Silver and the legendary Captain Flint.

Ending the show on the creators’ terms is another testament to the creative freedom afforded by cable networks. This Peak TV era is distinguished by bold, creator-driven storytelling. Black Sails took a concept ripe for television and crafted a grand period piece with incredible production design, a compelling narrative and deeply complex characters to become far more than ‘that pirate show’.

Black Sails is another feather in the cap of Starz after their breakout hit Spartacus: Blood and Sand, horror comedy Ash vs Evil Dead and critical darling (although apparently not Emmy voter) Outlander. This serves notice to the major players in the scripted series game that Starz is not to be taken lightly. They are so confident that they recently announced that their original programming slate would move to Sunday nights. This space is traditionally dominated by the likes of AMC, Showtime and undisputed king, HBO. Starz is gunning to be a part of the buzz associated with Sunday night prestige television. As Black Sails shows, they are banking on brave, expensive, creator-driven fare to do so. With Black Sails coming to an end, I look forward to whatever Starz has up their sleeve next.

Black Sails raises anchor on its 10-episode, fourth and final season in 2017.

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