Well, this is a mic drop if there ever was one. On Thursday, February 17, Prime Video announced that the Emmy-winning Marvelous Mrs. Maisel starring Rachel Brosnahan will return for a fifth and final season. The news came the day before season four began streaming.
It’s bittersweet—okay, very sad—news for fans of the comedy, which first debuted in 2017. Thanks to the vision that Amy Sherman-Palladino and Daniel Palladino brought to life, viewers watched as picture-perfect housewife Midge Maisel’s life was turned upside down when her husband Joel had an affair, only to turn her pain and anger into a career as a sharp stand-up comedian.
From the Upper West Side to Paris to the Catskills, the series has quite frankly been a marvel, garnering 20 Emmy Awards and 54 Emmy nominations through its first three seasons. Brosnahan, meanwhile, has an Emmy, two Golden Globes, three Screen Actors Guild Awards, and two Critics Choice Awards for the role, which had never been accomplished by an actor in any one series.
In a statement, Jennifer Salke, the head of Amazon Studios, said, “Amy, Dan, and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel have blazed an unparalleled path, elevating the stories we tell about women, challenging the norms in our industry, and forever altering the entertainment landscape with their one-of-a-kind storytelling. The dozens of awards cement Maisel’s legacy in many ways, but what’s even more enduring and poignant are the characters Amy created and the joyous, brilliant, singular world she and Dan brought to life. This series has meant so much to Prime Video and the effects of its success will be felt long after its final season. I can’t wait for fans and our worldwide Prime Video audience to savor each moment as we embark on the culmination of this groundbreaking and unforgettable series.”
Production wrapped in November 2022; on March 2, 2023, Prime Video announced that the final season will run for seven weeks and begin streaming on Friday, April 14, 2023. Or as Prime Video says, “Maisel goes ‘tits up’ with a seven-week series send-off.” See the official teaser trailer, below, and then we’ll get to the official trailer:
Then, on March 20, Prime Video released the official trailer (hello, Milo Ventimiglia!), along with new photos (ice-skating at Rockefeller Center will no doubt replace the hilarity that ensued in the swimming pool at the Fontainebleau in Miami) and new key art. It’s obvious that a lot is in store for our Midge as she heeds Lenny Bruce’s advice to take charge and leave no stone unturned. Take a look:
And now, all the new photos:
So what else do we know about the final season and its premiere? Let’s break it down.
How many episodes will there be for the final season of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel?
There will be nine episodes, which will run over the course of seven weeks (from Friday, April 14 to Friday, May 26). Three episodes will premiere on April 14, with one a week after that. We’re getting one more episode than the eight in season four, though far less than the 250 Amy Sherman-Palladino jokingly told us to expect. “We’ll be shooting it for the next 10 years,” she quiped before production on season five began.
If you need a reminder for when each new episode airs, bookmark our What to Watch guide. There, we’ll give you weekly updates and episode breakdowns.
What is the final season about?
According to Prime Video, “In the fifth and final season, Midge finds herself closer than ever to the success she’s dreamed of, only to discover that closer than ever is still so far away.”
As you’ll remember, after burning bridges and being cut from tour, Midge began trying to rebuild her career and reputation in season four. However, the biggest obstacle was still herself—that is, until Lenny Bruce gave her a very blunt talking to. In the final moments of season four, Midge left Carnegie Hall reinvigorated and ready to weather any blizzard (literally and figuratively). After an epiphany in front of The Gordon Ford Show’s snowy billboard, Midge decided she was ready to “go forward” and fight for her ascent to stardom. Based on the teaser trailer above, as well as the first art for the final season, below, it sure looks like she begins to achieve that.
Why is Maisel ending with season five?
When we spoke with Sherman-Palladino in March 2022 about Prime Video’s decision to bring the series to an end, here’s what she had to say: “A lot of things went into that decision. Amazon has a great say in it. They write the checks, so when they call, you have to pick up the phone, apparently. The minute that we found out that was the path forward, we really took a lot of time and a lot of care to make sure that we stick the landing because the most important thing to me is to make sure that Midge gets the send-off and the full treatment that she deserves.”
She added, “We will give you a lot of bang for your buck. We’re taking a really long time etching out these episodes. We’re trying to do some fun stuff that maybe people won’t really expect from us because we don’t do this kind of stuff a lot. We’re trying to savor every minute because this show is not going to happen again. It’s that thing that happens where you work with a cast that you would work with the rest of your life and a crew that you would take a bullet for. We’re trying to make sure that we appreciate every moment.”
When did production begin for the final season?
The cast and crew began filming season five in New York City in February 2022, and they wrapped in early November 2022.
When will season five air?
Friday, April 14, 2023. Three episodes will premiere on the 14th, followed by a new episode every Friday, culminating on Friday, May 26, which is the start of the Memorial Day holiday weekend.
Which cast members will return for season five?
Obviously Brosnahan, Alex Borstein (Susie Myerson), Tony Shalhoub (Abe Weissman), Marin Hinkle (Rose Weissman), Michael Zegen (Joel Maisel), Kevin Pollak (Moishe Maisel), and Caroline Aaron (Shirley Maisel) will return.
On May 20, 2022, Prime Video announced that Milo Ventimiglia (Jack, This Is Us; Jess, Gilmore Girls) will be returning for the final season as the “handsome man” whom Midge met in the park. If you’ll recall, the two immediately hit it off, but Midge was frustrated that he took what seemed like forever to make a move. He finally did—but after they had sex, a woman (most likely his wife) walked in on them and a stunned and humiliated Midge ran out.
For someone as big and as popular as Ventimiglia, it seemed liked an oddly brief role (his scenes were all before the opening credits began). When Glamour asked Sherman-Palladino about that, she told us they would have loved more time with him but his busy schedule was a conflict. “A moment came up where we could grab him and we grabbed him,” she said. “Milo is a fucking dream to have. I love him so much. He’s such an angel.”
Prime Video hasn’t revealed how many episodes Ventimiglia will be back for in the final season, but in an interview with TVLine, Daniel Palladino told the outlet that “we will see a nice, more extensive part two to ‘Milo and Rachel.’” The executive producer also said we’ll find out the character’s name so we don’t have to refer to him as “handsome man” anymore. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that; it does suit him.)
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On April 26, 2022, Prime Video announced that Kelly Bishop, who plays Benedetta, will return as a guest star, meaning more drama will ensue for Rose’s matchmaking service.
Alfie Fuller and Jason Ralph will also be back, but with much bigger roles, as they’ve been upped to series regulars. Fuller played Dinah Rutledge, Susie’s receptionist. Ralph, who is the husband of Brosnahan and best known for playing Quentin Coldwater on The Magicians, will be back as Mike Carr, the talent booker for the fictional Gordon Ford Show.
Meanwhile, Maisel has also added Peter Friedman (Succession), Chloë Kerwin (Asleep in My Palm), Austin Basis (Supernatural), Josh Grisetti (Nurse Jackie), Michael Cyril Creighton (Only Murders in the Building), Eddie Kaye Thomas (American Dad!, Scorpion), and Lucas Kavner (The Jim Jeffries Show) as new and recurring characters.
Will Midge be successful in the end? And will she and Joel get back together?
Even if I knew, do you think I’d spoil it for you? While Sherman-Palladino doesn’t like to reveal much, she did give us some insight, saying, “So while we have not written the final episode, we know what the final image is. I have always liked doing that, the whole weird, last four words of Gilmore Girls that became this weird sort of Sasquatch urban legend thing and all anybody wanted to talk about for a long time. But for somebody like me, I need to know what my endgame is…and that helps me push toward it.”
She continues, “Some people don’t like to do that. Some people just like to see where stuff takes them. I wish I could be one of those people. I think they live longer, but I kind of need to know my end game. So we know what the last image is. We don’t know what the last four words are, but we do know the image that we’re going out on. I know a lot of what’s going into the last episode, but we have a lot of people to service here. These characters deserve proper send-offs whether, it’s good, bad, and/or different.”
Jessica Radloff is the Glamour senior West Coast editor and author of the New York Times bestseller, The Big Bang Theory: The Definitive, Inside Story of the Epic Hit Series. You can follow her on Instagram at @jessicaradloff14.
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