Showtime will end "The Big C" with four one-hour episodes, the network announced. The abbreviated season will be the fourth for the Laura Linney cancer dramedy.
The network also announced plans for a documentary about music executive Tommy Mottola by director Brett Ratner. It joins a slate of previously announced documentaries, including one about former Vice President Dick Cheney.
The announcements came during Showtime President David Nevins' panel at the Television Critics Association summer press tour. He said he "wouldn't assume anything" about how the Emmy-nominated series would end.
"We've been having a lot of really interesting creative conversations. It's really important with a premium network that shows be able to plan their ending and do it the right way," he said. "They've got a very interesting and novel, and I think sort of form-breaking way to handle where the show is going."
He also showed clips of the upcoming "Masters of Sex" and "Ray Donovan" and found himself answering a slew of questions about the lifespans of his current shows.
He said "Episodes" was expected to return and that "The Borgias," now shooting its third season, would likely go for four seasons as originally planned. He also repeated his expectation that "Dexter" — which returns with "Homeland" on Sept. 30 — will probably go for two more seasons. But said he wouldn't rule out more.
"I would be stupid if I didn't leave the door open," he said.
He also said no end is in sight for "Homeland," which is beginning its second season. And he said the show was open to killing off major characters if it would help the show maintain credibility.
"Anybody could go at any time," he said.
He also said David Steinbrenner's interview series "Inside Comedy" will be back for a second season.
Nevins also said the network has tried to keep viewers engaged by altering the normal pacing of its plots. On "Homeland," for example, the lead characters slept together at the midpoint of the season instead of saving that for the finale. In the finale, he noted, the Brody character has to decide whether to detonate himself and a slew of government officials fairly early in the episode.
"You keep the audience off balance by making unpredictable choices," he said.
Nevins also said the network changed some of its programming the weekend after the Colorado shootings during a "Dark Knight" screening to avoid upsetting viewers.