Proving that even the most beautiful dream of the ’90s must eventually come to an end, Portlandia stars Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein have announced that they’ve set an end date for their long-running IFC sketch comedy. Talking to the press during filming for the show’s sixth season, Armisen and Brownstein both declared that Portlandia will end after its eighth, which will presumably air some time in 2018.
That announcement might seem presumptuous, given that the show’s only been renewed through 2017, but IFC president Jen Caserta was adamant in her support for the program that helped put her network on the alt-comedy map. “I will do this show until there’s no more show to do,” Caserta said, noting that Portlandia is IFC’s longest-running program, and its first breakout comedy success after rebranding from its previous identity as the Independent Film Channel.
The announcement comes even as Portlandia’s creative team seems to be getting busier and busier; Armisen’s second show with IFC, Documentary Now!, has garnered critical praise in recent weeks, and he continues to serve as the bandleader for Late Night With Seth Meyers. Brownstein recently wrote a book, and spent this year balancing her Portlandia commitments with her work on Amazon’s Transparent, and in her rock group, Sleater-Kinney. Meanwhile, Jonathan Krisel, the third member of Portlandia’s core creative team, was recently recruited to work on Louis C.K.’s FX series Baskets, leaving the door open for guest directors like Steve Buscemi to partially fill his shoes in the show’s sixth season. (Not coincidentally, both C.K. and Buscemi will guest star on Portlandia this year.) Even faux-mayor Kyle Maclachlan’s time has become a precious commodity, with schedules being moved around to accommodate his work on Showtime’s upcoming Twin Peaks.
Obviously, 2018 is still a long way down the bike lane, especially in the world of sketch comedy, where five seasons on the air have made Portlandia a venerable elder statesman. In the meantime, Armisen and Brownstein have hinted that they’ll continue the structural experiments that lead to episodes like the recent “The Story Of Toni And Candace,” going so far as to suggest that the show’s final season might take the form of a 10-part miniseries, which would leave a lot of room for stuff to get a whole flock of birds put on it.