These days, with so many different things to watch and ways to watch them, it can be hard for any one thing to make an impact if it’s not, say, a six-episode HBO miniseries or the one new thing on Netflix that everyone wants to make fun of. And then there’s The Haves And The Have Nots, an original drama on OWN that will be coming to an end later this year after airing 196 episodes over the course of eight seasons—which is a lot. The credit for the show’s longevity goes to creator Tyler Perry, who has famously always valued quantity over… you know, the other thing, though it’s not like The Haves And The Have Nots (which is an unwieldy title) was some underdog series that nobody ever watched. As reported by Deadline, the series averages 3 million viewers and is “always” ranked as one of the most-watched cable shows for Black women.
But that will all soon be in the past, because once the show—which Sonia Saraiya referred to as a “Black Downton Abbey” in an A.V. Club review eight years ago—returns from its midseason hiatus in May, it will air the final batch of episodes in its eighth-and-final season. Oprah Winfrey, the OW in OWN, said that the show’s success is entirely due to Perry’s “creativity and very vivid imagination,” with Deadline teasing that the it’ll have a “finale no one will see coming.” Exciting! But apparently not exciting enough for Perry and OWN to go to an even 200 episodes. It can’t be that hard to write four episodes of a TV show, right? C’mon, Perry!