‘The Good Place’ reaches its final destination with NBC finale

Award-winning NBC comedy concludes its four-season run

“The Good Place” airs its 90-minute series finale Thursday on NBC.

Don’t be surprised if “The Good Place” has saved some surprises to end on.

Fans of the Peabody Award-winning NBC comedy have come to expect big twists from the show, and it seems likely that more are in store as it fills a 90-minute slot to end its four-season run Thursday, Jan. 30. An extended series finale will be followed by a cast gathering hosted by Seth Meyers, allowing for time to dissect whatever may happen as the afterlife misadventures of Michael (played by Ted Danson), Eleanor (Kristen Bell) and company wrap up.

Creator and executive producer Michael Schur made the decision to end “The Good Place,” and Bell remembers the phone call that informed her. “I was driving in the car,” she recalls, “and I had a sixth sense about what he was about to say because he said, ‘Hey, we need to talk.’ And I said, ‘Before you say anything else, you have to promise me that you’ll write me a show after this one, and that’s the only way I’m not going to hang up on you.’ And he said, ‘OK.’ ”

“The Good Place” airs its 90-minute series finale Thursday on NBC.

Two-time “Cheers” Emmy winner Danson certainly has done his share of series, but he notes, “What’s different about the ending of this show is we knew it was coming, and we knew it was right to end. Usually, you are informed by a network that the show’s over, or there’s some turmoil around it … so it feels like something’s been taken away from you.”

Danson adds, “(With this,) we all got to be part of going, ‘Here. Here’s our gift.’ I hope that doesn’t sound pompous, but we all were part of the decision, and here: Please enjoy. You don’t usually get that kind of opportunity.”

“The Good Place” also has done much for the careers of co-stars D’Arcy Carden, William Jackson Harper, Jameela Jamil and Manny Jacinto. “I can only hope, no matter where I am on the call sheet going forward, that I can sort of promote the same atmosphere that these two so generously gave us,” Harper says of Danson and Bell. “I feel like there’s no people on this planet that are as generous and professional and talented.”

Schur believes that what he deems “the mission of the show” stays true to the end of “The Good Place.” He reflects, “You can try to be a good person this way, or you can try to be a good person this way. And what we ended up saying was, ‘We’re going to present a bunch of options’ — and by the way, there are plenty more that we didn’t describe – ‘but what’s important is that you try one of them.’ ”

Jay Bobbin

Jay Bobbin

Jay Bobbin has decades of experience covering the television and movie businesses, winning Tribune Media Services’ Crown Jewel Award in 2008 for his performance in the company. Over those many years of interviewing and writing, he has spoken with everyone from Robert De Niro and John Travolta to Paul McCartney and Tony Bennett … from Meryl Streep and Julie Andrews to Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood.

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