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With the End of Jane the Virgin, iZombie and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, It's the End of an Era at The CW

Will the network find shows to fill their place?

Sadie Gennis

It's official: the fifth seasons ofJane the Virginand iZombiewill be their last.

The CW announced Thursday that the upcoming seasons, which won't premiere until midseason, will be the final lap for each show. They join Crazy Ex-Girlfriendas CW shows that will be ending next year.

Their endings are not a surprise -- in March, Jane star Gina Rodriguez prematurely shared that Season 5 would be the final season, and iZombie creator Rob Thomas tweeted earlier this month that he needs "1 more season" to wrap up his show. However, that doesn't make the announcement any less bittersweet. Together, Jane the Virgin, iZombie and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend ushered in a new era of female-fronted hourlong dramedies that helped change the perception of the younger-skewing network. Jane the Virgin earned The CW its first two Golden Globe nominations and its first win, when Rodriguez took home the statue for Best Comedy Actress in 2015. A year later, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend star Rachel Bloom won the same award for her outstanding performance in the musical series.

Gina Rodriguez, Jane the Virgin
Scott Everett White/The CW

However, there's no denying that it's time for Jane, Crazy Ex and iZombie to come to an end. On Jane, the titular lead (Rodriguez) has had a child, gotten married, been widowed and found love again -- only to have her world rocked by the reappearance of her dead husband Michael (Brett Dier) in the final moments of last season, opening up the show's original love triangle between Jane, Michael and her father's child Rafael (Justin Baldoni). Sadly, The CW has opted to hold Jane's final episodes until midseason, but we can assure fans that it will be worth the wait. According to creator Jennie Snyder Urman, Jane's final season will end with a big wedding,"as telenovelas do," so start placing your Team Michael and Team Rafael bets now. (Although who's to say the wedding won't be Petra [Yael Grobglas] and J.R.'s [Rosario Dawson]?)

As for iZombie, with zombies becoming not only public knowledge but a widespread pandemic in New Seattle after Chase Graves (Jason Dohring) unleashed the virus on the unwitting population, the show went through a dramatic transformation this season. The stakes were raised even higher for Liv (Rose McIver), who's now charged with not only protecting herself and her small circle of friends, but trying to help the entire zombie population and terminally ill humans whose lives could be saved by a simple scratch. Things are reaching their breaking point on everyone's favorite zom-com-rom-dram, and we only hope Liv and Major (Robert Buckley) find a way to move past their differences and reunite by the time the series bows out next spring.

Bettina Strauss/THE CW

The only of the three ending series to return in the fall, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend has always been open about having a four-season plan. Over the course of its run so far, the series has chronicled Rebecca's journey from an obsessed ex to a spurned lover and now to someone who is finally ready to take responsibilities for her actions and learn to face her borderline personality disorder head-on. The final season will find Rebecca dealing with the fallout of pleading guilty to a federal offense over the apparent attempted murder of Trent, a decision which will leave Nathaniel (Scott Michael Foster) feeling betrayed by her decision. Meanwhile, Paula (Donna Lynn Champlin), Heather (Vella Lovell) and Valencia (Gabrielle Ruiz) will stand staunchly by Rebecca's side while simultaneously trying to find their own identities -- a journey that may result in some outgrowing their home of West Covina.

With the ending of three of The CW's most beloved comedies, fans may be wondering if The CW is moving away from series like Jane, iZombie and Crazy Ex. Although no series in a similar vein are apparent on the network's schedule this fall (which is heavy on reboots and superheroes), The CW president Mark Pedowitz told reporters that the new midseason series In the Dark may continue the legacy that Jane, iZombie and Crazy Ex kickstarted.

Patrick Wymore/The CW

From executive producers Ben Stiller and Michael Showalter, In the Dark follows a jaded 20-something blind woman with a love of alcohol, cigarettes and casual sex. But when her teenage friend Tyson is murdered and the police aren't inclined to investigate, Murphy (Perry Mattfeld) -- with the help of her service dog Pretzel -- decides to take on the case herself.

"We do believe we have created a one-hour comedy model with a little bit of drama in it. We hope In the Dark this season begins to replace some of those shows, that was why we took a shot, a real swing at In the Dark," Pedowitz told reporters on a conference call Monday morning.

The CW honcho also said that he hoped to see the creators behind Jane, iZombie and Crazy Ex all return to the network with new projects in the future, saying how grateful he was for everything they have done to further the CW brand over the past five years. "One of the things we will miss with each of those shows in terms of what they've done to help perception of The CW across the board. Crazy Ex, Jane and iZombie have done a great job, both the talent and the executive producers who ran the shows. Hopefully they'll be back with us next year in a different form," he said.

We can only hope to see Urman, Thomas and Bloom develop new projects with The CW in the future, as the showrunners have yet to steer us wrong. (Urman is also the woman behind the network's upcoming Charmed reboot, which definitely raises our interest in the Sunday night series.) But until the next development season and the returns of Jane, Crazy Ex and iZombie, we can all comfort our mourning hearts by reliving all the ups and downs of past seasons, which are available on Netflix right now.

(Full disclosure: TV Guide is owned by CBS, one of The CW's parent companies.)