'Kingdom' Won't Return For Season 4, But Some Closure Is Coming For Its Family Of Fighters
When the lights go out at the Navy St. Gym in the Kingdom Season 3 finale on Aug. 2, it will be the last time fans get the chance to see it. Unfortunately, Kingdom won't return for Season 4 despite the show's strong critical reception and its talented cast, including action legend Frank Grillo as the Kulina family patriarch, who struggled to keep his MMA training facility functional for the show's duration.
The Audience Network announced that Season 3 would be Kingdom's last with a statement released to Entertainment Weekly. "We are looking forward to the upcoming third and final season of Kingdom," the statement read. "We expect Season 3 to be a great one and appreciate the hard work and dedication from creator and showrunner Byron Balasco, as well as the entire cast and crew. We could not be more proud to have worked with all of them on such an amazing series."
The cast and crew of Kingdom didn't seem to take the unexpected news too badly. Jonathan Tucker, who plays the troubled but tough fighter Jay Kulina, revealed the news to his Twitter followers with nothing but good things to say about the experience. In the era of Peak TV, three seasons isn't a bad run.
our 3rd season of kingdom will begin airing may 31. it will officially be our final season. i could not be prouder to have been apart of it.— jonathan tucker (@jonathanmtucker) April 1, 2017
i'm grateful to our extraordinary crew (i have worked with no better), dedicated castmates, vocal fans & the generous world of mma. honored.— jonathan tucker (@jonathanmtucker) April 1, 2017
While the cancellation news may have come as a surprise to some fans, in an interview with Collider, Balasco said that the Season 3 finale of Kingdom will provide closure. "I look at the seasons of this show as chapters in these people’s lives," he said. "When the show ends, it’s not like people are gonna go, 'But whatever happened to the hatch?!"Kingdom never really lived or died by cliffhangers, and Balasco seemed to promise that there would be no huge questions left unanswered. "It’s just people’s lives," he told Collider. "They’ll just be out there somewhere, living."
Kingdom has always expanded its characters beyond the one-dimensional stereotypes they could have been in less assured hands. And while the series' timeline was slow, it gave Kingdom a chance to slowly build to important moments, like Nick Jonas' Nate finally coming out to his brother in the Season 2 finale. After the satisfying conclusion of so many storylines in that season, Balasco told Collider in the same interview that "it felt like there needed to be a break and a little bit of a reset." That's why characters like Kirk Acevedo's Dominick, the gym's newest trainer, joined the cast.
Even if the finale doesn't end with everything working out perfectly for the characters, Balasco doesn't want you to doubt that he ever had anything less than the Kulina family's best interests at heart. "I love them all so much, and it feels like things that just have to happen to them, that are inevitable," he told Collider. "I hope things work out, but sometimes they don’t."