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SYFY WIRE The Handmaid's Tale

Hulu's 'The Handmaid's Tale' to end with sixth and final season as showrunner teases 'The Testaments' spinoff

Elisabeth Moss's tenure in Gilead is coming to an end.

By Josh Weiss
The Handmaid's Tale

The Handmaid's Tale has officially been renewed for a sixth and final season at Hulu ahead of next week's Season 5 premiere, The Hollywood Reporter confirmed Friday.

“It’s been a very, very, very luxurious time that I’ve had to think about what happens at the end of this story and exactly how we’d like to get there as a company,” creator, showrunner, and executive producer Bruce Miller told THR. “I’m very glad we’re being able to do it on our own terms because I know how lucky that makes us — all the actors and creative people who put their hearts and souls into it — to close up the play the way you want. Dropping the curtain the way you want is such a huge privilege.”

He later went on to say that he's been mulling over a conclusion since he first read the beloved source material. "It’s one of those books that when you finish reading it, all you think about is the end. So in the end, story-wise, we’ve been able to stay pretty close to what we had thought, from our initial discussions and what Lizzy and I had talked about, and what Margaret and I had talked about."

Ever since it first premiered back in April of 2017, the show (adapted from Margaret Atwood's 1985 dystopian classic of the same name) has racked up critical acclaim, 15 Primetime Emmy wins, and timely cultural significance — all while turning Elisabeth Moss, who also made her directorial debut on the hit series, into a global super-star. Bradley Whitford, Yvonne Strahovski, Max Minghella, O-T Fagbenle, Samira Wiley, Ann Dowd, Madeline Brewer, Amanda Brugel, and Sam Jaeger round out the cast.

While news of the show coming to an end after six seasons is a tad bittersweet, viewers won't have to say goodbye to Gilead just yet. Back in 2019, Hulu handed down the green-lit for a new series based on The Testaments (Atwood's 2019 follow-up to the original book), with Miller actively developing the project for the small screen.

The Testaments was an independent curveball created by Margaret Atwood for the series I was working on," he said. "I think she had had it in her head for a while. I tried as much as possible, and I’m still trying, to not really make The Handmaid’s Tale about The TestamentsThe Handmaid’s Tale should be good on its own and when it’s done, it should be a nice little TV set that you put on the shelf next to the novel, and it hopefully adds to your enjoyment of it, and then you can move onto The Testaments."

Moss, Warren Littlefield, Daniel Wilson, Fran Sears, Eric Tuchman, Yahlin Chang, Rachel Shukert, Sheila Hockin, John Weber, Frank Siracusa, Steve Stark, and Kim Todd serve as executive producers alongside Miller.

The Handmaid's Tale returns to Hulu for its penultimate season Wednesday, Sept. 14.

For more dystopian TV, check out Brave New World on Peacock.