Preacher has come to a conclusion with its fourth season, but is there any hope that a season 5 could eventually see the light of day? Based on the comic books by Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon, Preacher stars Dominic Cooper as the titular holy man, Jesse Custer, with Ruth Negga as his fellow assassin and lover, Tulip, and Joseph Gilgun as the Irish vampire, Cassidy. The highly-anticipated adaptation first aired on AMC in 2016 and has charted Jesse's journey to find God after receiving the power of Genesis, an ability that allows the preacher to command almost anything with only his voice.
After running for three seasons, it was announced that season 4 would be Preacher's last rodeo, and Jesse's story has been brought to a close over the past 10 episodes, culminating in a dramatic and conclusive series finale. Despite its cancellation, however, Preacher maintains a passionate core audience and the original comic books retain a large following despite ceasing publication at the turn of the millennium. Is the door, therefore, left ajar for a potential fifth season further down the line, similar to the many other revivals currently in the works thanks to the onset of the streaming platform wars?
Unfortunately, Preacher is unlikely to get a fifth season, at least not in its current incarnation. Although an official explanation for the decision to end Preacher wasn't provided, there are several contributing factors. Firstly, ratings have fallen significantly over time, according to statistics from Nielsen (via TVSeriesFinale). Although Preacher's first two seasons performed strongly, regularly breaching the one-million mark, the gradual decline has refused to level out, and season 4's numbers have dipped below half a million viewers for the first time in the show's history. Compared to other AMC properties, this isn't an abysmally low figure, but considering the established fan base of the comics and the consistent decline, Preacher's viewership is a cause for concern.
Another factor in Preacher's cancellation is almost certainly Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg's move from Sony to Lionsgate, with the announcement that Preacher season 4 would be the show's last coming only days after the duo's production company signed a huge deal with a new home.
Lastly, even though the Preacher TV series has skipped many arcs and characters from the comic books, season 4 has adapted the final story of the source material, "Alamo." As a result, there isn't necessarily anywhere for the main characters to go in a potential season 5, other than to delve into side stories and spinoffs or to begin an entirely new arc not derived from the original comics. Game of Thrones can attest to how divisive that tactic can be.
While Preacher season 5 might be unlikely, a completely new adaptation in a decade or so is a distinct possibility. The Preacher comics have an enduring appeal, with the TV series premiering around 20 years after the first issue was published, and before AMC picked up the rights, there was a concerted effort to adapt the material into a movie. While the Preacher TV series did earn itself a cult following, many comic fans felt the show didn't quite do justice to the original, and once the AMC adaptation has faded from memory, many filmmakers could be tempted to bring Jesse Custer to the big screen in a completely new incarnation of Preacher.