Freeform has decided not to renew Shadowhunters for another season, but has elected to order two more 1-hour episodes to allow for a proper conclusion.
The show, based on The Mortal Instruments series of novels from Cassandra Clare, has covered the existing novels so far, with Season 3 covering books 4 and 5. The two extra episodes will cover the final book, and not end the show on a cliffhanger as the remaining Season 3 episodes, part of a 10-episodes back half order and not expected to air until next Spring, were already in the can.
According to a statement from the network, “We are very proud of Shadowhunters, a series that broke new ground in the genre world and became a fan favorite. However, along with our partners at Constantin, we reached the very difficult decision not to renew the show for a fourth season. But as big supporters and fans ourselves, Freeform insisted on and championed the filming of a special two-part finale that would give devoted fans a proper ending. The twelve episodes will air in spring of 2019. We want to thank our talented creators, producers, cast and crew along with our colleagues at Constantin for their hard work and dedication and to Cassie Clare for her incredible book series. We look forward to the final chapter of this breakthrough drama.”
EVP of Programming Development Karey Burke added later that the decision was “purely economic”. The network has been shifting to shorter orders of shows, and that apparently triggered a clause that ended the deal between Netflix and Costantin Films, the production partner for the show, making it harder to justify the costs.