Books, News, The Handmaid's Tale, TV Shows

The Handmaid’s Tale Season 5 May Be Its Last Season, Spinoff Planned

The Handmaid's Tale

The Handmaid’s Tale has enjoyed some crazy success during its four seasons, but the show’s creators say it might be time to wrap it up.


The fifth season of the Hulu original drama has been confirmed and will be coming soon, but many think that the show based on Margaret Atwood’s 1985 novel has run its course and should bow out gracefully after Season 5.

“The success of The Handmaid’s Tale remains paramount for us,” Jordan Helman, Head of Scripted Originals at Hulu said during an interview with Deadline. “That said, what is also most important to us is that we close out that show in creative fashion that feels organic so we are in constant communication, literally right now, talking with Bruce [Miller], Lizzie [Moss] and Warren [Littlefield], about what the best way to end The Handmaid’s Tale is. We haven’t landed on an answer… I imagine we’re going to be able to answer that question in the coming months.”

The Hulu exec called The Handmaid’s Tale “the crown jewel of our portfolio,” citing a 32% audience growth in season 4 over season 3.


Of course, this success and popularity will not be left out to dry as Hulu has already announced one spinoff with another Atwood dystopian story coming in the future.

The Testaments is the next in line for a TV adaptation that will be based on Atwood’s 2019 follow-up novel of the same name. It will take place 15 years after the events of the final scene in the original The Handmaid’s Tale book.

“Margaret Atwood’s work has become an incredibly important brand signifier for us at Hulu and so what we want to do is to ensure that we introduce the world of The Testaments in a way that feels organic to the work that has already been done on the platform,” Helman added. “The two questions are tied. The birth of The Testaments on Hulu and the eventual end of The Handmaid’s Tale are related, we’re figuring out that as we speak.”

But Helman assures fans that Hulu is not out to simply milk the intellectual property while its popularity is at a peak. “Obviously, there are business reasons to explore notions of how to expand it but what is most important is maintaining the creative integrity. This is a show that’s always kept viewers on their feet. Breaking the proper end to the season, whether that’s one season, two seasons or more. I have the utmost confidence that what they will deliver, will be the appropriate ending to the show.”

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And while Atwood’s stock is so high, Hulu also plans to adapt another of her popular books set in a dystopian world. MaddAddam (2013) is the third book in her trilogy that began with 2003’s Oryx and Crake and continued with 2009’s The Year of the Flood.

Helman did point out that MaddAddam is already being written and executive produced by The Little Drummer Girl’s Mike Leslie and all conversations about its adaptation are separate from The Handmaid’s Tale and The Testaments.

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Shawn has been infatuated with the post-apocalyptic genre since he wore out his horribly American-dubbed VHS of the original Mad Max as a child. Shawn is the former Editor-in-Chief at Joystiq's Massively.com, creator of the Aftermath post-apocalyptic immersion event, and host of the Through the Aftermath podcast for over 11 years. He currently resides on top of a mountain in the middle of nowhere with his wife and four children.

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