OK, see you: Kim's Convenience closing after 5 seasons on CBC
Series finale will air April 13; star Simu Liu express heartbreak, appreciation for show
Kim's Convenience will be concluding at the end of this season, the producers of the CBC comedy series announced on Monday.
The show is currently in its fifth season, and the final episode will air April 13. It's a full season shorter than what was planned in early 2020 when the comedy — which gained a global following on Netflix — was renewed for two additional seasons at CBC.
The show's producers said in a statement that co-creators Ins Choi and Kevin White confirmed to them that they were moving on to other projects. "Given their departure from the series, we have come to the difficult conclusion that we cannot deliver another season of the same heart and quality that has made the show so special," the producers said in a statement.
"It's very bittersweet," Andrew Phung, who plays Kimchee on the show, told CBC's Deana Sumanac-Johnson on Monday. He said continuing without the showrunners wouldn't be the same.
"When you have a show that is so authentic and so loved by audiences around the world, you want to do it right," he said. "And there's just a point where we felt like we couldn't do it right anymore."
The Canadian Screen Award-winning show premiered on CBC in 2016 and is based on the play of the same name by Choi. The Toronto-set show stars Paul Sun-Hyung Lee, Jean Yoon, Andrea Bang and Simu Liu as the titular Kim family, as well as Andrew Phung and Nicole Power.
"I am heartbroken," Liu said in a statement posted to Twitter shortly after the announcement was made. The actor said he expected to come back for a sixth season, particularly so his and Lee's characters — Jung and Appa — could fully reconcile.
"I feel we deserved better. I feel that you, our most amazing fans, deserved better," Liu wrote. "Entirely separate from my personal opinions on the termination of the show, however, is the immense pride in all that I feel we achieved.
"This isn't goodbye, this is only 'OK, see you!'"
The show was heralded for its storytelling, diversity and representation. Yoon called the five seasons they had "incredible."
"Thanks and gratitude to all the incredible artists, crew, writers, producers and fans who have come together to tell this story and celebrate this family," she wrote on Twitter.
Disappointing news today. <br><br>I’m heartbroken. I feel like my journey with Jung was cut short. I feel like you, the fans, deserved better. But I’m proud of all that we accomplished together in 5 seasons.<br><br>Thanks for all your love and support. This isn’t goodbye, only <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/OKSeeYou?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#OKSeeYou</a>. <a href="https://t.co/c1LAg0F58m">pic.twitter.com/c1LAg0F58m</a>—@SimuLiu
Lee and Phung have each won a pair of Canadian Screen Awards for their work on the show, while Liu will star in the upcoming Marvel movie Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.
"We were the little show that could," Phung said in a series of tweets, during which he shared his appreciation for his co-stars and the creative team behind the show. "This truly Canadian show allowed people to see themselves on television.
"We saw Appa and Umma and connected to their immigrant story and struggle to build a life in a new country. We saw Jung and Janet and watched second-generation Canadians grow into their own."
To my fellow costars. <a href="https://twitter.com/bitterasiandude?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@bitterasiandude</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/jean_yoon?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@jean_yoon</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/SimuLiu?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@SimuLiu</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/NicolePower3?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@NicolePower3</a> and Andrea Bang, it was the greatest honour to watch you act, learn from you, and act alongside you. Every day with you with an absolute joy. I’m so proud of everything we created and cherish all moments... <a href="https://t.co/dL6tgRvrNO">pic.twitter.com/dL6tgRvrNO</a>—@andrewphung
"It's been a privilege and a very great pleasure to work with the Kim's family of gifted writers and performers for the last five years," the producers said. "Thank you to our fans for the love and support you've given this show."
Sally Catto, CBC's general manager of entertainment, factual and sports, said the show "has built a powerful and inspiring connection with audiences in Canada and around the world."
"While we are sad to say goodbye to this beloved and groundbreaking show, we are incredibly proud to have been part of its journey and understand the producers' creative decision to wrap up the show at this time."
With files from The Canadian Press