FX gave "The Shield" a new lease on life Monday, ordering a seventh and final season of the drama series.
The fate of the critically acclaimed cop drama was uncertain heading into the second half of its sixth season in early 2007. Now those 10 episodes will be followed up by a fresh batch of 13 episodes to air in late 2007 or early 2008.
"Shield" creator and executive producer Shawn Ryan will return as showrunner, along with the entire cast for the remaining 23 episodes, including Michael Chiklis. Forest Whitaker, who joined the series this year, will return on a limited basis for the remainder of the sixth season.
"It has always been our intent to have the show exit television as it entered, as one of the best dramas series ever," said John Landgraf, president and general manager of FX. "We're thrilled Shawn has come up with a great way to end the series and that it will require one final season for his vision to reach completion."
"The writers and I weren't quite ready to step away from these characters just yet," Ryan said. "We asked FX for an additional 13 episodes to conclude the show properly and, as always, the network graciously let us do what we thought was best for the show."
No determination has been made yet as to whether "Shield" will replace Scott Brazil, executive producer for the series' first five seasons, who died earlier this year (HR 4/19).
The additional episode order will bring "The Shield" to 88 at the end of its run.
Last week, FX announced a series order for drama pilot "Dirt" with Courteney Cox.
Andrew Wallenstein writes for The Hollywood Reporter.
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