While Orange is the New Black was the first Netflix series to put the streaming service on the map for original content, Grace and Frankie soon followed suit (and it arguably did even more for the site's popularity). The comedy brought older generations into the world of streaming due to its leads, Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda, while also maintaining a strong audience of younger viewers.
Grace and Frankie was one of the first original comedy series for a streaming service, and it proved that audiences would binge-watch shorter, more lighthearted shows in the same way that they watched dramas laden with cliffhangers. But, like all good things, the show is coming to an end after its upcoming seventh season.
Why is Grace and Frankie ending? Read on to find out what Netflix said about pulling the plug on the popular comedy, and the record the show will break before it ends.
Why is 'Grace and Frankie' ending?
Though a seven season run is an achievement in and of itself, when news of Grace and Frankie's cancellation broke in September, it was clear that it wasn't due to the casts' desire for an end.
Stars Jane (Grace) and Lily (Frankie) put a statement out to Deadline once Netflix announced that the show would conclude following Season 7.
"We are both delighted and heartbroken that Grace and Frankie will be back for its seventh, though final, season. We’re so grateful that our show has been able to deal with issues that have really connected to our grand generation. And their kids, and amazingly, their kids as well," the pair said.
"We’ll miss these two old gals, Grace and Frankie, as much as many of their fans will, but we’ll still be around. We’ve outlasted so many things – just hope we don’t outlast the planet."
While neither gave further insight into the reasoning for the show's cancellation, it's been speculated that the show declined in ratings once Netflix began putting out original content on a nearly-daily basis.
In the almost five years since Grace and Frankie launched on Netflix, comedies such as G.L.O.W., GirlBoss, Santa Clarita Diet, American Vandal, One Day at a Time, Insatiable, Living with Yourself, Dead to Me, and more have come out. The first five shows in that list were canceled around at or before the conclusion of their third season.
The inundation of original comedies drew viewers away, and the long breaks in between seasons certainly didn't help.
Though Grace and Frankie outlasted the three-season comedy curse that is ever-present at Netflix, the streaming service is unafraid to cancel any original content that begins to struggle in the ratings. Deadline reported that Netflix has "a business model that involves shows often running for two to three seasons."
Plus, comedies that already concluded their run, including NBC's Friends (which was taken off in 2020) and The Office were still surpassing Netflix originals in streaming.
All of these factors likely led to Grace and Frankie's cancellation. But, the show still managed to last twofold longer than any other original comedy on Netflix (save for Orange is the New Black).
'Grace and Frankie' will break this Netflix record.
When Grace and Frankie's final season was announced, longtime fans of the show were devastated. But, they can be assured that the show will be breaking a Netflix record when it concludes. Season 7 will have 16 episodes, instead of its normal 13, which will make the comedy the longest-running original show ever on Netflix.
That's right, Grace and Frankie will beat Orange is the New Black's 91 episode total (and current record) by three.
"It’s thrilling and somehow fitting that our show about the challenges, as well as the beauty and dignity of aging, will be the oldest show on Netflix," showrunners Marta Kauffman and Howard J. Morris said in a statement to Deadline following the cancellation.
While Season 6 dropped on Netflix on Jan. 15, there has not been confirmation as to when the final season will come out.
Grace and Frankie is available to stream on Netflix now.