Leverage Exclusive: Dean Devlin on the (Possible) End of an Era

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Leverage creator Dean Devlin recently wrote an open letter to fans discussing the uncertain fate of the action-packed TNT drama, which may or may not be picked up for a sixth season by the network.

In any case, the upcoming Leverage Season 5 finale will end as though it were the series finale.

Devlin recently spoke to TV Fanatic's Jim Garner about what may well be the show's final episode Christmas Day, and what that means for the characters and storylines. Here's our Q&A:

Leverage Promo Shot

TV Fanatic: How do you feel about the evolution of the characters? Any stand out as a favorite?

DD: You’re asking me to pick my favorite child. Honestly, they are all great. We worried that fans might resist the growth and say “hey we liked them better before,” but it turned out the fans loved the evolution.

TVF: Any character back stories you wanted to tell but haven’t gotten to yet?

DD: Loads of them, but the overarching story that we wanted to tell is complete with the season finale. That’s not to say we wouldn’t do more, we have so many more we could tell.

TVF: How much of your initial idea for the final episode had to alter as a result of the character’s development over the last 5 years?

DD: Actually, the idea required the characters to be at a certain point they weren’t at yet, so beginning last season we started accelerating it a little, and then this season when it started looking like we might not get a 6th season we accelerated it even more. So, character evolution was key to idea.

TVF: If you're not able to do season 6, would you consider doing movies to revisit the characters?

DD: We have so many more stories to tell, we would love to tell them however we could. However, we felt strongly that it was important that we finish the story for all of the fans who have been with us for 77 episodes. So that is what we did with the end of this season. When you watch it, you may say “wow they set the bar high for more stories” and that’s ok we would enjoy the challenge.

TVF: Will we learn Sophie’s real name and/or Parker’s full name before it ends?

DD: I’m not going to give any spoilers, but what I will say is that this is the conclusion we have always envisioned and it does answer many things we’ve left dangling for a long time. 

TVF: Was the “Let’s go steal a [blank]” planned as shtick or did it evolve?

DD: It evolved. We had it in the pilot, and then it got put in the second episode, then the third. And we were like “oh, guess that’s our thing”.

TVF: If this is the swan song for Leverage, what’s next for you, another TV Series, or the rumored Independence Day 2?

DD: Roland Emmerich and I have written the sequels to ID, and it was so much fun to write with him again after 12 years. Things are moving along slowly there, there are just so many moving parts, but we want to get them made. I’m also looking at some other shows and would love to work with TNT again.

TVF: Finally, do you think that doing a “just in case” series finale as the season finale effects TNTs decision making on season 6?

DD: Not at all. The truth is they have a tough choice to make; I wouldn’t want to be in their shoes. They have more good shows and new pilots than they have air time to show them. I know that TNT would love to have us back for a 6th season; it’s just a matter of balancing it with new shows. With 5 seasons we are the longest running show on TNT and I’m thrilled for 77 episodes they have given us!

Be sure and tune in December 25 at 10 p.m. ET/PT for the season finale, “The Long Goodbye Job,” on TNT.

Jim G. is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.

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Leverage should NOT have been cancelled. Season 5 finished off with a bang. And with that new hard drive, the show now has so many possible long term story arcs. TNT let go of one of the few TV shows that a whole family can watch and be entertained with. Very sad. More than likely, the actors wanted more money, which they would deserve!

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Just finished watching season 5, it really needs picking up for season 6 so that Parker, Hardison and Elliot can develop as the new team with maybe a couple of newbies recruited. This show is way too good to let die. Has anyone considered contacting a UK network like UKTV which put out a channel called Alibi which already runs Rizolli and Isles, Castle and Body of proof, to see if they might pick up the baton as they do commission.

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Hoping leverage will be back. Too many reruns of other shows and too few new shows on this station. Leverage is very entertaining and keeps me interested till the end when the way it all went down is revealed

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Except for the Leverage finale, I haven't watched one minute of TNT since the series cancellation was announced. I don't plan too either. If it really is a matter of having too many other good shows (none come to mind), then how about lessening the reruns of the Mentalist and Law & Order?

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My husband and I sincerely hope that "the powers that be" will reconsider and bring Leverage back for season 6. It is a very very unique show that keeps you wondering how all the moves each character makes is going to come together and create a brilliant elaborate scheme. Canceling Leverage would be a crime in my book. We have every episode recorded and have frequently watched past episodes. Please bring Leverage back!!!

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I cannot believe that you would decide to keep that STUPID predictable Dallas after Larry's gone, and cancel one of your best action filled shows, not to mention the great cast, gotta say who ever is in charge of programming,is but he is really, really ignorant and does not know what we as the viewers want to watch, but it SURE is not that CRAP Dallas, prefer Leverage a million times then that!!!!

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The only problem I have is the statement "The truth is they have a tough choice to make; I wouldn’t want to be in their shoes. They have more good shows and new pilots than they have air time to show them. I know that TNT would love to have us back for a 6th season; it’s just a matter of balancing it with new shows." Um, if they stop showing 20 hours of programs like "The Mentalist" in prime time, they'd have lots of time to schedule all their new shows. I enjoy most of the repeat dramas they have on, but they don't have to be on in those hours.

Marissa

I'm glad that since they don't know if there's going to be a 6th season or not they made this seasons finale like a series finale just on case because I have watched a couple great shows were they left us with a huge cliff hanger and then didn't get renewed which always makes me mad but for this if they don't get renewed at least were not left with a cliff hanger and we get closer. I really love this show its one of my favorites and even though I didn't watch it when it was first showing I've watched all the episode and got all caught up on it and now watch the new episodes on tv the night there on and if I can't do that I record then so I can watch them the next day so I will never miss an episode. I really hope it gets renewed for a 6th season because its such a great show but if it doesn't I think I will survive because it will end without a cliff hanger and have a lot of questions answered. I will be very sad if it doesn't get renewed because its so great but at least there are 5 seasons of great characters and very funny episodes. Again hope it gets renewed and if not it was great while we had it and it ended the way a show should end with out a cliffhanger and with answered questions people have been asking forever.

Blu

Great interview. I think its commendable and speaks to how wonderful this show and those involved with it are. Countless of times fans have been left hanging with shows and their conclusions. Stories left untold, and that sense of closure. I'm not happy that it is yet to be renewed, but I am happy that just in case this amazing show comes to an unfortunate end, we the fans have the closure. I'm grateful to them for that. I really don't want to see this show come to an end. It's one of the few shows that makes me feel good, makes me laugh, and entertains me so much so that I can watch repeats over and over again and enjoy them every bit as much as I did the first time I seen them. Plus I love each and every character and the chemistry they have with one another. It's rare to find a show that does all of that.

Leverage Quotes

I'm assuming I'm speaking to the whole Justice League?

Choas

Nobody throws Hardison off a roof... except maybe me.

Eliot
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