Kim’s Convenience cast ‘heartbroken’ following decision to scrap season six

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The series had been renewed for a sixth season by CBC in 2020, but will now come to an end on April 13.

Kim’s Convenience is closing up shop earlier than anticipated, in a move cast members have called heartbreaking and premature.

Paul Sun-Hyung Lee, who alongside Jean Yoon has been part of the Kim’s Convenience journey since the very beginnings at the Toronto Fringe Festival, shared on Twitter that he was “heartbroken” with a “profound sense of loss and sadness.” Yoon also took to social media to express “thanks and gratitude” to the team behind the series.

The CBC comedy will end with its fifth season, CBC has confirmed, in a decision made by producer Ivan Fecan and production company Thunderbird Entertainment, due to the departure of its creators Ins Choi and Kevin White.

“Authenticity of storytelling is at the centre of the success of Kim’s Convenience,” wrote the series’ producers, in a statement. “At the end of production on Season 5, our two co-creators confirmed 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.”

Kim’s Convenience has meant so much to our cast, writers, crew, and audiences around the world. Despite the restrictions and complications of shooting during the pandemic, Season 5 is our finest season to date. 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. Thank you to our fans for the love and support you’ve given this show,” the statement continued.

The series had been renewed by CBC for a fifth and sixth season in spring 2020. Season five premiered on Jan. 19; the series finale will air on April 13.

Kim’s Convenience has built a powerful and inspiring connection with audiences in Canada and around the world,” said Sally Catto, general manager, entertainment, factual and sports, CBC. “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.”

The series was co-created by Choi and White and produced by Fecan on behalf of Thunderbird Entertainment in association with the Soulpepper Theatre Company. It stars Sun-Hyung Lee, Yoon, Andrea Bang, Simu Liu, Andrew Phung and Nicole Power.

Other cast reactions

“For reasons I’m sure we will get into someday, we must prematurely bid farewell to Kim’s Convenience,” wrote Liu in a statement on Twitter, where he expressed disappointment that his character Jung’s journey was “cut short.”

Liu partially filmed season five remotely from Australia, where he was on location for the upcoming Marvel film Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. In the statement Liu said he was “all in” for season six, with hopes to participate in the writer’s room and direct an episode.

In a Twitter thread, Phung shared that the cancellation was a “bittersweet end to one of the greatest experiences of my life,” stating that cast members on the series tried to keep the series going after its creators departed, but were unsuccessful.

“I won’t dwell on it ending but will instead focus on how amazing this journey and the show’s success has been… you saw Kimchee and saw your cousin, brother, best friend, and son. I’m saddened that I will no longer play this character but my heart is full from your love, support, and the opportunity to make you laugh,” he wrote.

Kim’s Convenience premiered on CBC in 2016 and has garnered several Canadian Screen Awards wins and many more nominations during its run. The series, which was adapted from Choi’s 2011 play,  has received international acclaim, winning over audiences in South Korea and picking up global attention through Netflix.

Kim’s Convenience is the second multi-season scripted CBC series to announce its end in recent weeks. Murdoch Mysteries spinoff Frankie Drake Mysteries will end with its fourth season, with the final episode airing yesterday (March 8).