Kim’s Convenience will conclude in April after five seasons, CBC and sitcom producer Thunderbird Entertainment announced Monday.
Based on the award-winning play by Ins Choi about the Kim family and the ups and downs of running their downtown Toronto convenience store, the CBC Original comedy first premiered on the network in the fall of 2016 and has since been picked up by Netflix, among other platforms. During its run, it’s been honoured with nine Canadian Screen Awards, including a win for Best Comedy Series in 2018. It also picked up Most Popular Foreign Drama of the Year at the 2019 Seoul International Drama Awards, as well as ACTRA Awards for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble and Outstanding Performance by a Female Actress for Jean Yoon.
Produced by television veteran Ivan Fecan and co-created by Ins Choi and Kevin White on behalf of Thunderbird Entertainment – in association with the Soulpepper Theatre Company – Fecan, Choi, White and Alexandra Raffé served as executive producers.
In a statement from the producers, provided by CBC, it was indicated that the departure of the series two co-creators was behind the decision to bring the sitcom to an end.
“Authenticity of storytelling is at the centre 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. 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,” reads the statement. “Kim’s Convenience has meant so much to our cast, writers, crew, and audiences around the world. Despite the restrictions and complications of shooting during the pandemic, Season 5 is our finest season to date. 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.”
The series finale is set for Tuesday, April 13 at 8 p.m. (8:30NT) on CBC TV and CBC Gem.
In a post to Twitter, cast member Simu Liu wrote that he was “heartbroken” and had fully expected to come back for a sixth season.
“For reasons that I’m sure we will get into someday, we must prematurely bid farewell to Kim’s Convenience,” Liu wrote.
“Most of all, it pains me that we will never see the Kims all together as a family, bidding farewell to the bodega that has defined their immigrant journey,” he continued. “I was all in this year. I wanted to be in every episode. I wanted to participate in the writer’s room. I wanted to direct an episode.”
“If Kim’s Convenience can stand for anything, let it be that amazing things can happen when you open the gates and allow more diverse and authentic stories to be told. I hope that we can all embody the legacy and spirit of this show, and fight to uplift BIPOC creatives and storytellers whenever and wherever we can,” said Liu.
Fellow cast member Andrew Phung posted that instead of dwelling on the ending, the focus should be on the show’s success.
“We were a hit show! We had success around the world,” wrote Phung. “Schools study the play and watch the show in class. We won awards and this truly Canadian show allowed people to see themselves on television.”
Disappointing news today.
I’m heartbroken. I feel like my journey with Jung was cut short. I feel like you, the fans, deserved better. But I’m proud of all that we accomplished together in 5 seasons.
— Simu Liu (@SimuLiu) March 8, 2021
I have no words for now. Only a profound sense of loss and sadness. Love you, brother. https://t.co/ARaXROozBo
— Paul Sun-Hyung Lee (@bitterasiandude) March 8, 2021
It’s been an incredible five seasons.
Thanks & gratitude to all the incredible artists, crew, writers, producers & fans who have come together to tell this story and celebrate this family. ❤️🇰🇷 https://t.co/f3PheHXc45
— Jean Yoon (윤 진 희 or 尹真姬) (@jean_yoon) March 8, 2021
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