DC’s Legends of Tomorrow: Keto Shimizu Reflects on the End DC’s Legends of Tomorrow: Keto Shimizu Reflects on the End
DC's Legends of Tomorrow showrunner Keto Shimizu reflects on the show's sudden ending. DC’s Legends of Tomorrow: Keto Shimizu Reflects on the End

Former showrunner of DC’s Legends of Tomorrow Keto Shimizu discussed the abrupt ending of DC’s Legends of Tomorrow recently on the new Showrunner Whisperer podcast which is part of the Multiverse of Color website.

“We’re really powerless,” Keto says when reflecting on what a production team can do to try and reverse a decision to cancel a show. “Once a network makes a decision not to bring a show back, there’s really nothing we can do about it. There’s no amount of begging or trying to negotiate; the decision has been made at that point. The only chance that we might have had was in the early days of the final season, but at that point, we were just trying to get episodes written and produced, and it sort of came too late [to have] these discussions of ‘what if we have to end?’ or ‘what can we do to try to get people excited for next year’?”

The team did have a potential ratings booster for a possible Season 8 with the introduction of Donald Faison’s Booster Gold… and in this podcast interview, Shimizu confirms that, yes, they were talking about having Faison’s Scrubs “guy love” pal Zach Braff doing the voice of Skeets. But ultimately, there were too many things out of everyone’s control, even though the head of the network loved the show. “He was one of the biggest fans and ultimately, he couldn’t save the show, so what could you do?” Keto reflects. “It was out of so many people’s hands at that point, and financially just not viable for the structure of the new management of the network. It just made no sense to have this type of show on their platform anymore, based on what they thought their target audience would respond to, so it was really sad.”

Shimizu was already planning on not returning for Season 8 and had already said her goodbye to the show, but she had hoped she had left it in such a way that three was no way they wouldn’t get another season or at least a final season to wrap things up. Of course, what ended up happening instead was the show ended on a cliffhanger.

“It was a little too late after the script had been written and was already in pre-production when someone was finally like ‘What if we want to actually end this?’ I’m like ‘Are you kidding me?! The train has already left the station, guys, and now you want to head your bets? We gotta just go full steam ahead!” she says. “I feel badly that for fans who feel disappointed by the ending. I still love it in a way, because it is such a Legends way to end things. If this is the end, it’s kind of a ballsy ending for a show that never did or tried not to do anything cliché or expected. It kind of works, I think, [but] I feel bad if there are fans who are completely unsatisfied with that ending. But I do hope that some of them at least can understand the sort-of-joke and fun of it and knowing that ‘Yeah, in our hearts, the Legends went to jail and had adventures busting out. It was tons of fun!’ But I think that if we had more of a traditional closing of an ending, it might not also feel very satisfying to true Legends fans.”

Keto Shimizu also spoke of how aware the crew might have been of The CW’s changes that were soon to come.

“We knew of all the shake-ups happening, the potential sale and all of those things were coming as we were very deep into writing and producing our season,” Keto admits. “It didn’t really seem like a possibility that we wouldn’t get a chance to wrap things up in a satisfying way, with at least half a season. Again, this was based on the decade plus of precedent really set by The CW and them always giving shows a chance to end things their own way, even shows that didn’t have much of an audience. They’re always like ‘And there’s going to be eight episodes to wrap this up,’ so to us, and again, this was probably our hubris in a way – we just didn’t think that it was possible that we would get cut off at the knees without a chance to really make a satisfying conclusion.” Sadly, of course, the decision makers in this situation were not the same folks who gave Legends so many renewals in the past.

“These were numbers people, these were finance people, these are not people who ever watched our show or ever really cared,” Shimizu recalls. “It was just people who looked at the math and said ‘No this doesn’t make sense, we don’t want to do these kinds of shows anymore, so goodbye’.”

You can listen to or watch the full interview below.

Craig Byrne

Craig Byrne has been writing about TV on the internet since 1995. He is also the author of several published books, including Smallville: The Visual Guide and the show's Official Companions for Seasons 4-7. In addition to covering Legends of Tomorrow, you can find Craig at KSiteTV, GreenArrowTV, KryptonSite, and FlashTVNews.

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