ABC has accomplished what others couldn’t: it will knock off secret agent Sydney Bristow at the end of this season.
Relying on the PR 101 strategy of putting bad news out late in the day before a four-day holiday, ABC Entertainment President Steve McPherson announced Alias will end its five-season run in May 2006..
The frequently-shifted spy drama, which over the course of its run has garnered seven Emmy Awards, stars Jennifer Garner in her 2002 Golden Globe Award-winning role as a CIA agent.
It has suffered in the ratings this season since it move to the highly competitive 8 p.m. Thursday time slot and was already slated to go on hiatus to make room for Dancing with the Stars in January. It will return later in the season to finish out its run.
“Right out of the box, Alias attracted a cult following of fans that were completely invested in the show,” McPherson said. “(Creator) J.J. Abrams and his team developed characters that were compelling and storylines that were intricate and engaging, and Jennifer and the rest of the cast brought them to life.
“We owe both the storytellers and the fans a send-off worthy of a show that has been such a big part of the pop culture vernacular. J.J., Jeff Pinkner, Ken Olin, Jesse Alexander and Jeffrey Bell have an amazing story arc planned for the remainder of the season. Alias is not going to wind down as it comes to an end, it’s going to rev up, and we’re going to make it the event it deserves to be.”
Responding to the pink slip, Alias Executive Producer Jeff Pinkner said in a statement issued by ABC, “This news, and its timing, is a mixed-blessing.
"Though we’re obviously very saddened to face the reality that Alias is coming to an end, the lasting quality of every good story is determined by its conclusion—this news gives us the freedom to end the series in the climactic way it deserves."
“Five years ago J.J. Abrams designed Alias to encompass a unique and challenging blend of spy-adventure, family drama and love story that contained deeper mythological elements,” he continued. “The arc we have planned for the remainder of the season will honor all of these disparate elements as we wrap up the story of Sydney Bristow in a surprising and, we think, thrilling way.”
Abrams created Alias, which he also executive produced along with Olin, Pinkner, Alexander and Bell.
The series, filmed in Los Angeles, premiered Sept. 30, 2001.