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‘Hart of Dixie’ Boss Says Season 4 Leaves ‘Doors Open’ for Renewal, But Has ‘Enough Conclusion’ to End

”This will be a season for the fans,“ Leila Gerstein tells TheWrap

“Hart of Dixie” fans are certainly excited that the show is returning, but are cautious about the possibility that its fourth season will be the show’s last.

While The CW has not made any official announcements that Season 4 would be the show’s final season, it did cause fans to worry after pushing the drama to midseason and ordering only 10 episodes for the season. But, the show’s executive producer says the new season should work whether the show is renewed or not.

“We have left doors open if there is a Season 5,” executive producer Leila Gerstein told TheWrap. “And if there isn’t a Season 5, I feel that this season is a celebration. I know that people will be very sad, but story-wise there will be enough conclusion that people won’t feel like they’re left hanging.”

Gerstein cautions that a lot will occur on each episode of “Hart of Dixie’s” fourth season, which continues the saga of young New York City doctor-turned-small town physician Zoe Hart (Rachel Bilson) and the off-kilter residents of Bluebell.

“I think 10 episodes really change the game for us,” the executive producer said. “We’re essentially telling 22 episodes worth of story in 10. They’re jam-packed, but they’re still funny and full of warmth and love and all the things that make Bluebell what it is. But, I will say that the amount of story that happens is going to be very exciting and surprising for fans.”

TheWrap spoke with Gerstein about the changes in “Hart of Dixie’s” main characters and what to expect from its ongoing romantic challenges.

TheWrap: If you were to give a theme for this season, what would it be?
Leila Gerstein: This will be a season for the fans. This is the year when we bring all the central love stories to some sort of celebratory conclusion. It is a year of love. It is a year of people figuring out who they are, what they want and acting on it. All the characters were barriers to their own happiness on Season 1. And by the time we get around to Episode 10 of Season 4, all the barriers are broken down and people can find their path to happiness.

I hear Rachel Bilson‘s real-life pregnancy will be incorporated into the season, so does that mean there’s no tricky shots behind precisely placed objects to hide it?
I will say that her pregnancy will come out this year, but there will still be some pots and ways to hide it. Jaime [King] was pregnant last year, so we basically did exactly what we did with her last year. I think we had like nine episodes before she went on maternity leave. So, the camera crew, DP and directors were all super-familiar with how to stack the shots just so. But, this time we’re not going to do it the whole time. It was hard. It was difficult storytelling-wise. But, I honestly believe when and where the pregnancy lands in the season will be exciting. And in terms of storytelling, I think it was a great gift. It really shifted things for us story-wise and it was a great story engine, so I think people will like it.

It would seem that Wade (Wilson Bethel) and Zoe are the fan-favorite couple. He has changed a lot. What does he want now?
I actually feel Wade’s metamorphosis happened in the middle of Season 2. Wade has reached emotionally and he has matured to the where he can be with Zoe. And Zoe has been the one holding them back. By the end of Season 3, Zoe finally realized Wade was her one true person. And the question we were left with by the end of Season 3 is has so much happened that Wade will be unable to forgive her. He has had his heart super-broken, which is a medical term, and so is he willing to down the rabbit hole that is Zoe Hart once again.

Lemon (King) has changed a lot since Season 1. What can we expect for her?
We see that button-upped person on Season 1, who was so sure her life was supposed to be one way that she had blinders to what her life should be. And she didn’t let herself feel, she only fought. And it all blew up in her face, because she let that cause her to have an affair with Lavon and she fought it. She lost George and Lavon. She built herself back up from the ashes in the Southern way. And now that she has, she’s been humbled and learned a lot about herself and she’s gotten a career. Of all the characters, Lemon has probably had the biggest change from who she was at the inception of the show to who she is now. But, she’ll always be a little bit Type-A, she’ll always be a little persnickety, which is why we love her. But, she’s constantly fighting the forces within herself.

And once again, will we see Lavon and George being pulled toward Lemon?
Yes, which is interesting because it’s the same love triangle from Season 1. But, it’s so much different because these characters have changed so much since Season 1. And no one is going to deny their true feelings anymore, and they’re going to fight for what they want. Also, now, we’ve really earned this friendship between Lavon and George. We’re going to play this love triangle for humor, because it’s fun to see the two of them warring. On the first episode back, they have to lead the volunteer fire department and hilarity ensues because they can’t cooperate. We will know where Lemon’s heart lies by the end of Season 3.

“Hart of Dixie” premieres Monday at 8 p.m. on The CW.