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Two years on, ‘Ray Donovan’ will wrap up the right way

Liev Schreiber in "Ray Donovan."
Liev Schreiber in "Ray Donovan."Jeff Neumann/SHOWTIME

Winter is coming, and so is closure — which in this case has to be pronounced “clo-sha.”

Fans of “Ray Donovan” will recall how the series was abruptly canceled last year, after seven seasons. It was an affront to them, not necessarily because the show deserved to have “Law & Order”-like longevity, but because it was pulled before the writers had a chance to resolve the plotlines. When viewers have stayed with a series for seven seasons, they deserve a proper finale. The cancellation was the kind of move that makes viewers feel resistant about getting on board serialized shows in general, since TV outlets can be so disrespectful of their commitment.


Showtime ultimately saw the error of its ways, it seems, and commissioned a “Ray Donovan” movie to wrap up the story. “It got pretty heated,” the “Ray Donovan” showrunner David Hollander told Vulture earlier this year, crediting the fans’ outcry for the decision to make the movie. “I mean, journalists who didn’t even really like the show were expressing outrage. And Liev [Schreiber] and I both knew it was necessary to complete the story as well and were fueled by the fans and were loudly disagreeing with the network’s choice.”

The movie, conveniently titled “Ray Donovan: The Movie,” will premiere on Showtime on Jan. 14, about two years after the final episode of the series. It will pick up where the show left off, with the regular cast of actors returning, and it will revisit Ray and Mickey’s origin story from 30 years ago, with Chris Gray playing the young Ray and AJ Michalka as the young Abby.

Matthew Gilbert can be reached at matthew.gilbert@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @MatthewGilbert.