“Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath” will end after three seasons on A&E with an “explosive” two-hour special, the cable channel said Thursday.
Here’s the description for the series finale, which will air Monday, Aug. 26 at 9/8c on A&E:
Filmed for the first time in front of a live studio audience, Remini and Mike Rinder explore stories of how Church of Scientology policies have hindered members from reporting instances of abuse and sexual assault to the authorities. They will speak to a number of ex-Scientologists who share their stories of abuse at the hands of other Scientologists, and describe how these policies are aimed at preventing the alleged crimes from becoming public. The episode will also feature a panel of legal, psychological and law-enforcement experts, who provide insight into the impact Scientology’s practices have had on its former parishioners and advise how they can seek justice and effect change in the future.
An individual with knowledge of the decision to end the Emmy-winning docuseries — which is also nominated for Outstanding Informational Series or Special for this year’s awards — says that Remini “really was ready” to bring it to a close. Originally planned as a limited series, the insider says “Scientology and the Aftermath” was never meant to go on for as long as it did, and now Remini and the network have mutually agreed now was the time to wrap it up.
“Mike and I will always be grateful to A&E for giving us a platform to expose Scientology and give the victims a chance to be heard. Without the A&E team’s support ‘The Aftermath’ wouldn’t be what we intended. We recognized it was time to move on to the next chapter and help people in new ways,” Remini said. “We thank our viewers for caring in the way that you do. It means everything to us. There is not a day that goes by that we don’t have people stop us with a ‘thank you for doing what you guys are doing’ and it’s your support that gives us our strength to carry on. And carry on, we will.”
“Leah, Mike and all the contributors who have courageously shared their stories with us over the past 30 episodes exemplify A&E’s mission to be a home for brave storytellers to share their truths no matter the obstacles,” added Elaine Frontain Bryant, EVP and Head of Programming at A&E Network. “We can’t thank Leah and the team at IPC enough for creating this groundbreaking series.”
In a statement provided to TheWrap, a spokesperson for the Church of Scientology said: “Leah Remini has blood on her hands. Her show’s lies, distortions and exhortations to hate and bigotry generated assassination threats against the leader of the Scientology religion, physical attacks on Churches, and the murder of a Scientology religious worker whose throat was slashed by a madman egged on by Remini’s horrendous distortions. Perpetrators who were jailed for their crimes named Remini as their inspiration. Viewers complained and advertisers demanded action be taken, many withdrew their sponsorships. Finally, A&E pulled the plug on Leah Remini’s hate machine.”
“Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath” won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Informational Series or Special in 2017 and received a nomination in that same category again the next year. The show has also won a Producers Guild Award, NATPE Unscripted Breakthrough Award, Gracie Award and the inaugural Critics’ Choice Real TV Impact Award.
The series is produced for A&E Network by The Intellectual Property Corporation (IPC), a company within the Industrial Media group. Remini serves as executive producer for her No Seriously Productions. Executive producers for IPC are Eli Holzman and Aaron Saidman. Ray Dotch serves as executive producer. Chris Rowe and Mike Rinder serve as co-executive producers. Executive producers for A&E Network are Devon Hammonds, Amy Savitsky and Elaine Frontain Bryant. A+E Networks holds worldwide distribution rights for “Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath.”
The 2-hour series finale special for “Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath” airs Monday, Aug. 26 at 9/8c on A&E.