Starz’s “Black Sails” is about to chart its final course. The premium cable network has ordered a 10-episode fourth season of the pirate drama to debut in 2017, but says that will also be the show’s last. The series was a prequel to the action in Robert Louis Stevenson’s “Treasure Island.”
Co-creator and executive producer Jonathan E. Steinberg professed gratitude for the ability to wrap up all the swashbuckling in the Caribbean: “It’s a rare privilege in television to be given the kind of creative freedom we’ve enjoyed on this show over the last four years,” Steinberg said in a statement. “While it was a difficult decision for us to make this season our last, we simply couldn’t imagine anything beyond it that would make for a better ending to the story nor a more natural handoff to Treasure Island.”
While not quite as high-profile as some of its series siblings at Starz (a la “Outlander”), “Black Sails” nonetheless managed to attract an average of 3.6 million viewers per episode over its first three seasons, once you cobble together the Nielsen ratings for traditional viewers, Rentrak’s On Demand data, and the network’s internal figures for streaming. The series also won two Emmys in its first season for visual effects and sound editing.
Starz gave another two seasons to drama “Power” yesterday, and has been ramping up production on originals for several years now. Starz currently ranks second in premium channel subscribers, ahead of Showtime, but well behind HBO, and was recently bought for $4.4 billion by independent studio Lionsgate.