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This year, Showtime’s ground-breaking TV series Weeds will come to a close.

The premium network will conclude series creator Jenji Kohan’s acclaimed pot comedy after eight seasons. Weeds helped pave the way for other daring cable shows and made Showtime a competitive force in the original series game.

“There were two shows, Weeds and Dexter, that really got Showtime taken seriously for cutting-edge original programming,” says Showtime entertainment president David Nevins. “How they get brought home is really important. In this case, both for the sake of the two women behind the show [Kohan and Golden Globe-winning star Mary-Louise Parker] and an audience that’s really invested in the show. TV fans love nothing better than to complain about how shows end and we really want to end this one the right way.”

Kohan admits she’s “sad” about the news, noting “sometimes ignorance is bliss,” but the writer does appreciate the rare opportunity to creatively wrap up a show. “I’m so proud of what we do here and that it’s about a strong woman lead who’s really flawed,” she says of her protagonist, Nancy Botwin (Parker). “We get to do comedy right up against drama, which a lot of shows don’t get the opportunity to do.”

The final season will quickly resolve this year’s assassination attempt cliffhanger, and fans can expect a time jump and a return to the suburbs. Beyond that, Kohan hasn’t yet decided how to conclude Nancy’s tale. “We wrack our brains every year for crazy cliffhangers and we’re trying to figure out how to top ourselves,” she says.

Showtime and Weeds‘ studio Lionsgate Television Group have full faith that Kohan will deliver a stellar final batch of episodes. “No matter how close she’s gone to the edge of everything falling apart, she reels the story back in, grounds it, and brings you back,” says Lionsgate TV Group president Kevin Beggs. “It’s an art form.”

Weeds premiered in 2005 and, along with other titles, pioneered an edgy adult-cable programming renaissance that not only boosted Showtime but inspired similar risk-taking content on networks. Weeds particularly broke ground with Parker’s Golden Globe-winning portrayal of a suburban pot-dealing matriarch, a performance that was later followed by other female anti-hero programs like Showtime’s Nurse Jackie and FX’s Damages.

“From a creative standpoint, the show broke a bunch of barriers,” Beggs says. “It became one of the most talked about cable comedies and ushered in a new era. Jenji’s unique voice skewered hypocrisy; whether attitudes towards drug use, racism, sexism or suburbia.”

The final season of Weeds premieres Sunday, July 1 at 10 p.m. on Showtime.

For more exclusive news about Weeds’ final season, pick up this week’s issue of Entertainment Weekly.

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