‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ Renewed for 6th and Final Season at Hulu

Season 5 of the acclaimed drama series premieres at TIFF Thursday and streams on Hulu next week

Elisabeth Moss stars in Hulu's "Handmaid's Tale."
Elisabeth Moss stars in Hulu's "Handmaid's Tale."

“The Handmaid’s Tale” is coming to an end. The acclaimed drama series has been renewed for a sixth and final season at Hulu.

The news comes as Season 5 is set to premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival on Thursday. The first two episodes will premiere on Hulu next week.

“It has been a true honor to tell the story of Margaret Atwood’s groundbreaking novel and chillingly relevant world, and we are thrilled to bring viewers a sixth and final season of ‘The Handmaid’s Tale,’” said Bruce Miller, creator, showrunner and executive producer. “We are grateful to Hulu and MGM for allowing us to tell this story, which unfortunately has remained as relevant as ever throughout its run, and are in awe of our incredible fans for their unwavering support, and without whom we never would have gotten to this point.” 

Season 4 ended on a dramatic note, as June (Elisabeth Moss) returned home after orchestrating Commander Waterford’s (Joseph Fiennes) death and cradles her baby while still covered in blood. We also saw Waterford’s decapitated body hanging above the words “Nolite te bastardes carburondorum,” which means “Don’t let the bastards grind you down.”

In the trailer for the fifth season, June appears to have no remorse for killing Commander Waterford and is ready to confront his pregnant widow Serena (Yvonne Strahovski) for her own wrongdoing.

Here’s an official logline for the season:

June faces consequences for killing Commander Waterford while struggling to redefine her identity and purpose. The widowed Serena attempts to raise her profile in Toronto as Gilead’s influence creeps into Canada. Commander Lawrence works with Nick and Aunt Lydia as he tries to reform Gilead and rise in power. June, Luke and Moira fight Gilead from a distance as they continue their mission to save and reunite with Hannah.

It’s not yet clear when Season 6 will debut, but there were about 18 months in between the premiere of Seasons 4 and 5. There was a more significant delay between Seasons 3 and 4 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In addition to the final season of “The Handmaid’s Tale,” Miller is also actively developing author Margaret Atwood’s followup, “The Testaments,” which picks up years after the events of the original novel and is narrated by Aunt Lydia. It’s not yet known if Ann Dowd will be reprising her role for the new series.

“The Handmaid’s Tale” also stars Bradley Whitford, Max Minghella, O-T Fagbenle, Samira Wiley, Madeline Brewer, Amanda Brugel and Sam Jaeger. 

The series is produced by MGM Television and executive produced by Bruce Miller, Warren Littlefield, Moss, Daniel Wilson, Fran Sears, Eric Tuchman, Yahlin Chang, Rachel Skukert, Sheila Hockin, John Weber, Frank Siracusa, Steve Stark and Kim Todd. The series is internationally distributed by MGM.

The first two episodes of “The Handmaid’s Tale” Season 5 will stream on Hulu beginning Sept. 14.