"Big Love" and HBO to divorce after fifth season

Thu Oct 28, 2010 3:01pm EDT
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LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Polygamy TV show "Big Love" will end after its fifth season, starting in January, broadcaster HBO said on Thursday.

The often controversial drama, starring Bill Paxton as a Salt Lake City businessman with three wives and nine kids, has run its course, "Big Love" creators Mark V. Olsen and Will Scheffer said in a statement.

"When we created 'Big Love' in 2002, we had a strong conception of the journey the Henrickson family would make over the course of the series, of the story we had to tell," they said.

"While we were in the writers' room this year shaping our fifth season, we discovered that we were approaching the culmination of that story.".

The show at times angered the Mormon community, whose 13.5 million member Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has its headquarters in Salt Lake City and which banned polygamy in 1890. The Henrickson family featured in "Big Love" are members of a fictional breakaway Mormon fundamentalist sect.

HBO said the show's fifth season, which begins airing on January 16, will be its last. HBO programing chief Michael Lombardo called it a "unique and provocative" series and added, "I'm happy (the creators) will be able to bring the story to its close the way they always envisioned."

"Big Love" has earned several Emmy and Golden Globe nominations, but its fourth season, which ended in March 2010, was seen by many TV critics as disappointing.

(Reporting by Jill Serjeant; Editing by Bob Tourtellotte)