Fans of the charming British comedy-drama The Durrells were deeply disappointed when the show’s fourth season aired in 2019 and was announced to be its last. The lighthearted yet poignant series, based on Gerald Durrell’s memoirs about his family’s life on the Greek island of Corfu in the 1930s, had garnered devoted viewership and critical acclaim over its four seasons. Its final season ended on a concluding note about the family’s imminent return to England. This left many hoping rumors of a fifth season focused on the family readjusting to life in England could still come to fruition.
However, nearly four years later, it unfortunately appears there will not be a fifth season of The Durrells after all. The show’s producers and network have never officially stated the show was cancelled. But the lack of any update since the last season strongly indicates the Durrells story has run its course on television.
The Durrells Season 5 Release Date
This will surely come as sad news to the show’s many fans who loved the quirky family at its center, brought to life by actress Keeley Hawes as matriarch Louisa and young actors Josh O’Connor, Callum Woodhouse, Daisy Waterstone, and Milo Parker playing her children. Over four seasons, viewers enjoyed watching the adventures of this endearingly dysfunctional family trying to build a new life abroad in the Mediterranean while constantly encountering drama, romance, heartbreak, and humor at every turn.
The show was filled with the amusing family dynamics and picturesque backdrop that viewers expect from a British period drama. But it also tackled heavier and more poignant themes as World War II loomed over Europe – blending comedy and tragedy in that classic British storytelling style fans adore.
Throughout its run, The Durrells received praise for Hawes’ performance as the widowed Louisa holding her chaotic family together and for O’Connor’s breakout role as eldest son Larry. The show consistently received strong viewership for British network ITV and was nominated for multiple BAFTA awards over the years.
However, creator Simon Nye always viewed Louisa’s decision of whether or not to return to England as the natural endpoint for his adaptation of Gerald Durrell’s three memoirs. While Durrell penned a fourth memoir, it focused more narrowly on his career after leaving Corfu. With the core family leaving Corfu – the gorgeous backsplash so central to the show’s direction and cinematography – Nye felt Louisa leading the children back to England after four years abroad was the most fitting conclusion.
|Keeley Hawes, Josh O’Connor, Callum Woodhouse
|Theme music composer
|Country of origin
|No. of seasons
|No. of episodes
|Lee Morris, Simon Nye
|Christopher Hall, George Faber
|ITV Studios Global Entertainment
|April 3, 2016 – May 12, 2019
|My Family and Other Animals by Gerald Durrell
Is there going to be a series 5 of The Durrells?
Of course, many fans still desperately want to know – did the Durrells resettle happily in England? Did the children pursue their career dreams? Would the family face new adventures back on their home soil? A season 5 could provide closure on these lingering questions. But Nye has reiterated he told the story he aimed to tell over four seasons. And ITV decided ending the show there allows it to live on as a charming, feel-good drama fans can revisit knowing the family heads towards their next chapter together.
While viewers will undoubtedly continue holding out a sliver of hope for a surprise season 5 renewal, it becomes less likely as the years pass. British shows often do revive successful shows for special reunion episodes or short final seasons down the line. But for now, producers seem content letting the show conclude on its intended gentle, bittersweet note showing the Durrells leaving Corfu but facing the future as a family.
It’s a quiet yet emotional finale reminiscent of beloved British series like Downton Abbey. We want to know more about what comes next. Yet, the little we can imagine holds certain appeal too. Perhaps this is what actually makes a show so rewatchable. It captures a poignant period we know can’t last forever, encouraging us to cherish the moments and stories we did get to witness.
Why was Durrells in Corfu Cancelled?
The cancellation of the beloved British comedy-drama series The Durrells after its fourth season in 2019 left many fans shocked and disappointed. Over four seasons, viewers had delighted in following the adventures of the eccentric Durrell family, led by widowed mother Louisa (played by Keeley Hawes) as they attempted to build a new life on the Greek island of Corfu in the 1930s. Fans were enchanted by the show’s warmth, humor and gorgeous Mediterranean backdrop. They also praised the ensemble cast, particularly Josh O’Connor who became a breakout star for his performance as eldest son Larry.
After four seasons full of hilarious mishaps, romances and heartfelt family drama against the looming backdrop of WWII, viewers were not ready to say goodbye to the Durrells. Rumors swirled that a fifth season could see the family readjusting to life back in England after leaving Corfu. However, nearly four years later, it’s become clear no fifth season is forthcoming after all.
So why was this beloved show cancelled seemingly prematurely, and what led to the decision? While producers have never explicitly stated reasons for the cancellation, some key factors played a role.
How many seasons of The Durrells are there?
Firstly, creator Simon Nye has shared he always viewed the decision of whether or not Louisa returned the family to England as the natural endpoint for his adaptation of Gerald Durrell’s three memoirs about his childhood in Corfu. While Durrell penned a fourth memoir about his early career, it didn’t focus on the core family unit. With the children grown and the family’s years in Corfu providing such an idyllic, distinct backdrop, ending on their departure felt like the right full circle moment story-wise.
Additionally, producers may have felt ongoing storylines were wrapping up, with older children like Leslie and Larry moving toward independent lives off-island. Maintaining cast contracts across multiple busy up-and-coming actors like O’Connor would have posed challenges as well.
There was also the fact The Durrells aired on British network ITV, which perhaps didn’t want to sink more resources into extending a show with inherently limited longevity given its narrow autobiographical source material and children characters destined to age. Despite its acclaim and strong viewership, ITV may have wanted to free up budgets for fresh productions.
Is there a season 5 of The Durrells?
Of course, none of these practical factors make the show’s loss any easier for its many fans across generations. We see how beloved British shows can thrive across six, eight or even twelve seasons given the right network support. The Durrells’ glowing reception showed an audience hungry for more of this family’s heartwarming antics. Yet British television production contains so many moving parts, and ultimately timing and business decisions interfered.
Diehard fans do still cling to a faint hope that we could one day return to the Durrells’ world, even briefly, through a reunion special or snapshot finale episode. Many U.K. shows have reprised iconic series years later for special final installments or even brief revivals when interest aligns.
Perhaps on some future anniversary of The Durrells’ conclusion, networks may consider revisiting the family and where the children’s lives took them as a tribute. For now, fans can continue reliving the show’s golden Corfu era through reruns and adaptations. We can celebrate having witnessed this charming story chapter that evoked so much joy, nostalgia and meaning during its all-too-brief run. The Durrells leaves behind a legacy as one of British television’s modern gems.
— The Durrells (@thedurrellsITV) July 5, 2020