Allan Hawco knew the end of CBC-TV's Republic of Doyle would eventually come, but he never imagined it would be such an emotional journey.

It's a good thing he has been keeping busy with other projects and endless media interviews in the days leading up to the two-hour season finale tonight that airs at 8 p.m. (8:30 in the actual Republic of Doyle, also known as Newfoundland), which is an hour earlier than usual.

"It's gonna be a strange thing letting him go," Hawco said of his alter ago, harried P.I. Jake Doyle, during an interview Wednesday morning with the St. John's Morning Show.

The creator and star of the popular CBC television series will gather with family members, friends and cast and crew this evening to watch the back-to-back episodes, called Judgement Day and Last Call, with plans to "send Republic of Doyle off in style."

Winding down the beloved show, which is shot and set in Newfoundland, after six seasons is the right thing to do, said Hawco.

"What a different conversation we'd be having now if we'd been cancelled, or if people stopped watching the show," he said.

Show embraced nationally

It will be hard for many devoted audience members to say goodbye to characters such as Malachy (Sean McGinley), Leslie (Krystin Pellerin), Des (Mark O'Brien) and Tinny (Marthe Bernard). the City of St. John's and Jake's Pontiac GTO were also prominent fixtures in the show.

Hawco said appearing on the show was not just another job, considering it was a project that was built from scratch.

"It's something that's been with me pretty much most of my adult life," he said. 

The show debuted in January 2010, and was quickly embraced by a national audience. But Hawco said his biggest worry in the beginning was whether viewers in this province would like the show.

He said the feedback he has been receiving in recent days is proof enough to him that the show "affected people in a way I could have only dreamed."

As for speculation about a Republic of Doyle movie, Hawco said "if the story is right, we'll definitely pursue it and make it."

With files from Anthony Germain