How long could The Boys last? Why showrunner Eric Kripke doesn't care to speculate

Eric Kripke, the showrunner of Amazon Prime Video's The Boys, has wildly underestimated how long one of his shows could last before...
The Boys season 4 on Prime Video
The Boys season 4 on Prime Video /

Predicting the long-term success of a television series is a challenging task, as no data set seems 100% foolproof. For a showrunner, this unpredictability requires constantly adapting and refining their approach to tell a complete story, whether it spans two seasons, five seasons, or even ten+. Sometimes, a series receives the exact number of episodes needed to wrap up its narrative; other times, it gets cut short or stretched out to meet the studio's requirements.

In the case of The Boys, where the line between hero and villain is razor thin, a fan hopes the studio does whatever it can to keep the show watchable and coherent. A showrunner might have a clear vision for the series' overall arc, but various factors can disrupt this plan. No one understands this better than Eric Kripke, the showrunner of The Boys, who has offered exciting new approaches to how television treats superheroes, as it satirizes myth-making.

Despite his initial claims of having a master plan, Kripke has learned the unpredictability of the television industry firsthand. In 2020, during a Twitter Q&A, Kripke mentioned that his tentative plan for The Boys was "five seasons total," though he was cautious about making definitive statements. He referenced his experience with his previous show, Supernatural, where he initially aimed for five seasons, but the series ultimately ran for fifteen.

Does The Boys have what it takes to last 15 seasons? (Possibly)

Kripke said: "My last show, Supernatural, I said five seasons for sure, and then that f***er went 15...So I’m mostly going to keep my mouth shut, but creatively five feels like a good round number." The Boys has since been renewed for a fifth season even before the fourth has premiered, leading Kripke to adjust his stance on the series' future.

"I have learned since then to not try to call the seasons as the person who, and this is without hyperbole, is literally the most wrong in entertainment history of how many seasons their show should go," he shared with Inverse. "Someone pointed that out to me and I was like, 'You're right. That's ridiculous. I need to keep my mouth shut.' And so I will."

Amazon Prime Video supports this flexible approach. Vernon Sanders, an Amazon executive, hinted in a conversation with Entertainment Weekly that The Boys is far from over. "Eric has had a vision for what this all leads to for years now, and we've been in an ongoing conversation about what comes next," Sanders said. "So, it's probably premature to talk about that beyond saying we believe in Eric, and if Eric is interested in continuing the story, we'll be the first ones in line to really work with him on what that is."

Why it's safe to think The Boys will be around a while

Whether The Boys will reach the longevity of Supernatural with fifteen seasons or conclude its story with season 5 remains to be seen. However, it's safe to say that, so long as people keep watching, they will probably keep going. Kripke, again, is cautious about making any predictions.

“No one was more wrong in all of human history about how many seasons their show was going to go than this guy. So I am not going to make that same mistake twice,” he remarked. At least he has verified that season 5 is definitely being developed, noting on Twitter (or what Elon Musk nonsensically wants to call "X"): "#TheBoys Writers are already hard at work in the writer's room. Love these sickos."

The Boys Season 4 premieres on June 13 on Amazon Prime Video.

[WARNING: This trailer contains violence and adult language]

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